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Mount Vernon Wishes George Washington "Happy Birthday!" with Events Commemorating the First American Hero

Mon, 01/12/2009

Admission is FREE on Monday, February 16 – the Most Popular Day of the Year at Mount Vernon!

For Immediate Release
January 12, 2009
Digital images available    
Media Contact:
Melissa Wood (703) 799-5203

Mount Vernon Wishes George Washington "Happy Birthday!" with Events Commemorating the First American Hero

MOUNT VERNON, Va. – Historic Mount Vernon celebrates George Washington’s 277th birthday Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15 with “America’s Smallest Hometown Parade” and Washington’s favorite breakfast – with “the General” himself joining visitors to partake of “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey”!  The weekend leads up to a grand birthday party for the first president on Monday, February 16, with spirited military demonstrations, an encore performance of “America’s Smallest Hometown Parade”, and a moving wreathlaying ceremony at Washington’s tomb.  All visitors are admitted free-of-charge on the national observance of George Washington’s birthday, Monday, February 16.

Schedule for Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Join “George Washington” for breakfast as he enjoys his favorite morning meal, “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey”, cooked over an open fire (while supplies last).  Pull up a hay bale and chat with the Father of Our Country about politics, farming, the Revolutionary War, and life in the 18th century.

1:30 p.m. “America’s Smallest Hometown Parade”, complete with fife and drum corps, early-American music and adorable heritage breed animals, lines up to march past “General Washington”, the Mansion and around the circle drive for all to see.

Included in regular admission: $15 for adults; $7 for youth ages 6-11; and free for children five and younger.

Schedule for Monday, February 16, the national holiday for Washington’s Birthday

Free admission
10:00 a.m.  Take part in a special wreathlaying ceremony at Washington’s tomb followed by a performance and battle demonstrations by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, featuring the 3rd U.S. Infantry, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard. “General Washington” will be on the grounds to greet visitors and receive their birthday wishes.

1:30 p.m.  “America’s Smallest Hometown Parade” will take place on Monday in addition to the weekend performances. The jubilant parade includes a fife and drum corps, early-American music and adorable heritage breed animals marching past “General Washington”, the Mansion and around the circle drive.

Schedule for Saturday, February 21
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Beginning February 21, Historic Mount Vernon’s F.M. Kirby Gallery in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum hosts a special new exhibition, “George Washington & His Generals.”  For the first time, a collection of over 120 paintings, personal artifacts and manuscripts associated with the generals of the Continental and French armies who served under George Washington will be on display.  “George Washington and His Generals” exhibition is co-sponsored by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and The Society of the Cincinnati and will remain on view through January 10, 2010.  Admission to the F.M. Kirby Gallery is included with regular admission: $15 for adults; $7 for children, five and under are free.

Schedule for Sunday, February 22
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  George Washington’s Real Birthday! Anyone named George, or whose birthday, like Washington’s, is February 22, will be admitted FREE upon presenting identification.

6:30 p.m. 62nd Annual George Washington’s Birthnight Supper and Ball (February 22 only), featuring cocktails, supper, raffle, and silent auction.  Hosted by the Neighborhood Friends, the event raises money for an endowment to fund a living history blacksmith to demonstrate his craft at Mount Vernon. RSVP deadline is February 2.  Tickets start at $175.  Call 703-799-8647 for reservations.

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Events, programs, and activities are subject to change.

Public Information:
703-780-2000; 703-799-8697 (TDD);

Since 1860, over 80 million visitors have made George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens the most popular historic home in America.  Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events, and stimulating educational programs on the Estate and in classrooms across the nation, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington’s place in history as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen.”  Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, America’s oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853.  A picturesque drive to the southern end of the scenic George Washington Memorial Parkway, Mount Vernon is located just 16 miles from the nation’s capital.

Hours of operation: April-August, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; March, September, October, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; November – February, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Regular admission rates: adults, $15.00; senior citizens, $14.00; children age 6-11, when accompanied by an adult, $7.00; and children under age 5, FREE.  Admission fees, restaurant and retail proceeds, along with private donations, support the operation and restoration of Mount Vernon.