Vice President, Media & Communications
Updated January 14
Three Days of Events - Free Admission on Monday, February 16
George Washington’s 283rd Birthday Weekend Celebration
February 14 and 15 (Sat and Sun, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
George Washington’s favorite breakfast was “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey.” 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 guests will be encouraged to create birthday greetings for George Washington which will be shared with “General Washington.” A wreathlaying at the tomb of George Washington takes place at 10 a.m. and 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 283rd Birthday Celebration – FREE Admission!
February 16 (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 at 11:15 a.m. 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 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.
New! Nine Paintings from John Chapman on View
Virginia Sites from George Washington’s Life
(February 13, 2015 – May 30, 2016)
Nine unique paintings by the Virginia born artist John Gadsby Chapman (1808-1889) illustrating landscape scenes important to George Washington’s biography are on view in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center through starting February 13. The series begins with the site of Washington’s birth at the Pope’s Creek Plantation in Westmoreland County, continues through the site of the Battle of Yorktown, and concludes with scenes of Mount Vernon including the bedchamber in which the Washington died and the new tomb in which he was interred in 1831.
Chapman exhibited seven of these paintings at the National Academy of Design in New York City during the summer of 1835. Later, nine of the paintings were acquired by James Kirke Paulding (1778-1860), the New York author and onetime Secretary of the Navy, who illustrated two of the works in his 1835 biography of George Washington.
These paintings are on loan to Mount Vernon from the Wethersfield Estate, located near Poughkeepsie, New York which was the home of Chauncey Stillman. It is now a museum open to the public during the summer and boasts five acres of Italiante Gardens on a larger estate of 1,200 acres.
George Washington’s Masonic Apron on View
February 13–16 (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.