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Shh! Don’t Tell George Washington: Historic Mount Vernon Celebrates Washington’s 279th Birthday with a Surprise Party for the First President!

Mon, 01/03/2011
Admission is FREE on Monday, February 21 – the Most Popular Day of the Year at Mount Vernon!

For Immediate Release
January 3, 2011
Digital images available 

Media Contact:
Melissa Wood (703) 799-5203
mwood@mountvernon.org
                                                                    

Shh! Don’t Tell George Washington: Historic Mount Vernon Celebrates Washington’s 279th Birthday with a Surprise Party for the First President!

MOUNT VERNON, Va. – Historic Mount Vernon celebrates George Washington’s 279th birthday with a “Surprise Birthday Party” for the General!  Daily from February 19 through February 21, the party features “General Washington” receiving surprise birthday cheers, 18th-century music and birthday gifts presented from his 18th-century friends. On Saturday, February 19, and Sunday, February 20, have a taste of Washington’s favorite breakfast – hoecakes swimming in butter and honey with “the General” himself! The weekend leads up to a grand holiday party for the first president on Monday, February 21, with free admission, Miss America 2010 singing the national anthem, spirited military demonstrations, the new “Surprise Birthday Party” celebration, and a moving wreathlaying ceremony at Washington’s tomb.  For more information, please visit www.MountVernon.org.

Schedule for Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, February 20
New this year: A new George Washington object, one of his Masonic aprons, and two new exhibits will be on display inside the Donald W. Reynolds Education Center.

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. “George Washington’s Surprise Birthday Party” Join characters from the 18th century as they help visitors surprise General Washington with rousing birthday cheers and a serenade! After the birthday surprise Washington will be presented with gifts which he will describe and react to during a speech to his birthday visitors. The surprise is reminiscent of Washington’s birthday in 1778 during which the Continental Artillery band serenaded Washington at Valley Forge.

All day: New this year: the cavalry comes to town! The Second Continental Light Dragoons will ride throughout the estate on horseback.

Schedule for Monday, February 21, the national holiday for Washington’s Birthday
Free admission Monday only

10:00 a.m.  Take part in a special wreathlaying ceremony at Washington’s tomb followed by patriotic music and military drilling by Revolutionary War re-enactors.  “General Washington” will be on the grounds to greet visitors and receive their birthday wishes.

10:15 a.m: 2010 Miss America Caressa Cameron sings the national anthem.  Immediately following the national anthem, the Old Guard Fife & Drum will perform military demonstrations on the Bowling Green.

1:30 p.m. “George Washington’s Surprise Birthday Party” Join characters from the 18th century as they help visitors surprise General Washington with rousing birthday cheers and a serenade! After the birthday surprise Washington will be presented with gifts which he will describe and react to during a speech to his birthday visitors. The surprise is reminiscent of Washington’s birthday in 1778 during which the Continental Artillery band serenaded Washington at Valley Forge.

All day: George and Martha Washington will be on the grounds celebrating the General’s 279th birthday.

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Events, programs, and activities are subject to change.

Public Information:
703-780-2000; 703-799-8697 (TDD);
http://www.MountVernon.org

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.