When it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving, most would agree that the best possible place to enjoy this holiday is in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Known as “America’s Hometown,” Plymouth was the site of where the Pilgrims landed and where New England was first established. In celebration of this event, the town offers a variety of fun and educational opportunities throughout the holiday weekend to enjoy.
Prior to Thanksgiving Weekend
Prior to the holiday weekend, as well as on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, Dr. Paul Jehle will provide free historic tours of Plymouth and its monuments. Dr. Jehle, who is an Education Director and Historic Consultant, will teach tourists about the Pilgrim story while also explaining the purpose and significance of the Plymouth monuments.
On Friday night, a free Veterans Memorial Concert will be held in honor of those who have served in the Armed Forces. An illumination event in collaboration with the Plymouth 400 will also take place that evening.
An opening ceremony for the parade will take place on Saturday morning, with the parade to follow. The ceremony involves the lighting of a candle as well as a brief explanation of the historic nature of the parade. This event will take place on the waterfront and will be broadcast live on local cable television. As the parade passes, those who are watching the parade will be instructed on the chronological history of America as the floats go past them.
Saturday Afternoon and Sunday
Following the parade, a variety of events will be available for participants to enjoy on both Saturday and Sunday. Some of these include:
- The New England Food Festival will provide sample cuisines from around the region while also broadcasting period music for additional ambience.
- Colonial crafters will demonstrate the trades representative of the time period, including blacksmithing and weaving.
- Living historians will tell historic stories, including “Pilgrims” who will interpret the various monuments while also discussing life in the 1600’s as well as “soldiers” from the American Revolution and later wars.
- The Wampanoag Educational Pavilion sponsored by Massasoit Community College will share information about what really happened at the first dinner between the Colonists and Wampanoag people in the fall of 1621. Wampanoag and Colonial interpreters will be at the pavilion to discuss the feast known as “Thanksgiving.”
The Drum and Bugle Corps will also perform patriotic music from the post-World War II era on Saturday night. America’s Hometown “Portal to the Past” Historic Village will also allow you to travel through time on Saturday as you join Living Historians at Brewster Gardens. In addition to separating fact from fiction about the first Thanksgiving, you can also watch 17th century Pikeman as they practice the defense of their town with long poles. As you continue along the path, you will learn more about 18th century militia before encountering interpreters representing 19th century Civil War battalions and ultimately visiting WWI and WWII troops as you learn about the modern military.