For Immediate Release
January 24, 2014
Digital images available
Melissa Wood (703) 799-5203
George Washington’s 282nd Birthday Weekend Celebration
February 15 and 16 (Sat and Sun, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
George Washington’s favorite breakfast was “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey.” Watch as local chefs showcase their own interpretation of the classic cornmeal dish in front of the first president’s home! The chefs will create hoecakes over an open fire and present their dishes to the “first commander in chief” to be judged. While watching the chefs cook their masterpieces, join “General Washington” for a sample of hoecakes prepared by Mount Vernon staff (while supplies last) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Following the breakfast sampler, visitors can mingle with costumed characters from George Washington’s world from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Are you ready for “Dancing with the 18th Century Stars”? At 1:45 p.m. take part in Mount Vernon’s largest-ever 18th-century dancing demonstration with costumed characters on the Bowling Green! After the dancing ends, re-enactors gather with visitors to share selected stories with “George Washington” at 2 p.m. All weekend long guests will be encouraged to create birthday greetings for George Washington which will be on display and shared with “General Washington.” A wreathlaying at the tomb of George Washington takes place at 3 p.m. This event is included in regular Estate admission: adults, $18; children ages 6-11, $9; and children under 5 are admitted free.
George Washington’s 282nd Birthday Celebration – FREE Admission!
February 17 (Mon, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Celebrate the national observance of George Washington’s Birthday by visiting his home and burial site FREE of charge on this day. The traditional wreathlaying ceremony at Washington's Tomb takes place at 10 a.m., followed by patriotic music and military performances on the Bowling Green. Visitors can mingle with costumed characters from George Washington’s world from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. “General Washington” is on the grounds to greet visitors and receive birthday wishes all day.
Listen to a special musical tribute for the first president by the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry’s Old Guard Fife & Drums Corps from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Are you ready for “Dancing with the 18th Century Stars”? At 1:45 p.m. take part in Mount Vernon’s largest-ever 18th-century dancing demonstration with costumed characters on the Bowling Green! Re-enactors gather with visitors to share selected stories with “George Washington” at 2 p.m. All day guests will be encouraged to create birthday greetings for George Washington which will be on display and shared with “General Washington.” A wreathlaying at the tomb of George Washington takes place at 3 p.m.
George Washington’s Masonic Apron on View
February 14–17 (Fri – Mon, 9am – 4pm)
This Masonic apron was made in France and is believed to have been presented to George Washington at Mount Vernon in 1784 by the Marquis de Lafayette, a former general and close friend of Washington’s, who was also a Freemason. The apron features Masonic symbols, such as compasses and a square, together with the crossed flags of the United States and France, all exquisitely embroidered in silk and gold- and silver-wrapped threads with metallic sequins. On view in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, Washington would have worn this apron when attending Masonic meetings. Thanks to a loan from the Brethren of Mt. Nebo Lodge #91 of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Mount Vernon has been able to display this special object on the national observance of George Washington’s birthday since 2011.
New Exhibition: Gardens & Groves
Opens February 22 (Saturday)
Mount Vernon invites visitors to explore George Washington’s design for the grounds of his estate, highlighting the first president’s interests and talents as a landscape designer through the exciting new exhibition, Garden & Groves: George Washington’s Landscape at Mount Vernon. On view in The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center’s F.M. Kirby Foundation Gallery, Gardens & Groves showcases more than 40 objects, including rarely-seen items from Mount Vernon’s collection and original Washington books and letters loaned from institutions across the country, as well as stunning photography of the landscape across all four seasons. The centerpiece of Gardens & Groves is a spectacular 8’x 9’x 11’ model of Mount Vernon’s landscape as Washington last saw it in 1799. Gardens & Groves will be on view through January 12, 2016.