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Kick Off Summer at George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Craft Beer Summerfest, Juneteenth Family Day, Independence Day Celebrations, Archeology Day, Book Events, and Much More

There’s so much to choose from during the summer months at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Summer kicks off with Summerfest on June 9 and 10, featuring local craft beer tastings and live music. Whiskey aficionados will want to secure tickets for the popular Whiskey Tastings that run only through June, then restart in September. And foodies won’t want to miss Resident Baker Justin Cherry of Half Crown Bakehouse during select weekends for 18th-century bread baking demonstrations and fresh loaves for sale while they last.

In honor of Juneteenth, Mount Vernon will host the Freedom Before Emancipation Family Day on June 17. Guests will learn about the legacies of enslaved men and women at Mount Vernon, observe performances on freedom and resistance through the eyes of Ona Judge and Christopher Sheels, and honor the lives of the enslaved at the Slave Burial Ground Commemoration Ceremony.

Fans of Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri can hear about her new book, Alexandra Petri’s US History: Important American Documents (I Made Up) on June 21. This side-splitting work of historical humor shows why Petri has been hailed a national treasure and one of the funniest writers alive. Learn more.

And summer marks Mount Vernon’s beloved Independence Day celebrations. On June 30 and July 1, Mount Vernon hosts two patriotic evenings featuring fireworks over the historic Potomac River, along with musical performances courtesy of the Fifes & Drums of York Town and the National Concert Band. Again this year, the Mansion will be lit in red, white, and blue during the fireworks show. Guests are invited to tour the Mansion and visit the blacksmith, attend a wreath laying at Washington’s Tomb, watch ice cream making demonstrations, and more.

On July Fourth, visitors can attend An American Celebration. This Independence Day event will feature opportunities for visitors to “meet” George Washington, watch made-for-daytime fireworks, observe a ceremony in which people from across the globe become U.S. citizens, and enjoy a musical performance by the National Concert Band. Guest also can watch 18th-century magic with Peter Gardiner.

Throughout the summer, visitors also can visit the Mansion, expansive estate, and gardens. June and July events and activities include: 

  • At Summerfest, sample craft beer from local breweries, hear live music from The Fly Birds, and explore the historic area after hours on June 9 and 10. Concessions will be available from the Mount Vernon Inn Food Truck. Learn more.
  • The Annual Martha Washington Lecture will feature Holly A. Mayer and Lorri Glover, contributors to the new book, Women Waging War in the American Revolution, in conversation with fellow historian Graham Hodges about women's diverse struggles for security and independence in the midst of war. This June 13 event includes a reception and book signing. Learn more.
  • Freedom Before Emancipation: Family Day for Juneteenth offers an opportunity to learn about Ona Judge, Christopher Sheels, and Mount Vernon’s many enslaved people who resisted enslavement and sought freedom before the Emancipation Proclamation. Learn more about this event scheduled for June 17.
  • Meet Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri as she discusses her new book, Alexandra Petri’s US History: Important American Documents (I Made Up) on June 21. Learn more.
  • Mount Vernon After Hours: Exclusively for Members is scheduled for June 24. Members and their guests can explore the expansive grounds after hours, purchase a picnic from the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, and dine al fresco on the lawn. Members also will receive 20 percent off on all purchases from the Shops. Learn more.
  • The Situation Room Experience: Washington's Cabinet is scheduled for June 25. Attendees will participate in an exciting and immersive roleplaying experience, stepping into the shoes of President Washington, his cabinet, diplomats, members of Congress, Native American leaders, and the press. ‍Players will face domestic and international crises during Washington’s second term as president and decide on a course of action. Learn more.
  • Enjoy an evening of family fun and Independence Day fireworks along with patriotic music to celebrate the nation's founding. Guests also can attend a special wreath-laying at Washington’s Tomb, watch colonial ice cream-making demonstrations, and enjoy 18th -century dancing. The Mansion will be lit in red, white, and blue during this June 30 and July 1 event. Learn more.
  • An American Celebration on July 4 is a one-of-a-kind chance to observe the nation's independence at the home of the father of our country. Meet President Washington, watch fireworks, observe a naturalization ceremony, hear patriotic music and more. Learn more.
  • Meet historian Jordan E. Taylor, author of Misinformation Nation: Foreign News and the Politics of Truth in Revolutionary America, on July 11. This provocative new book reshapes thinking about the causes of the American Revolution and how misinformation drove colonists to revolt against Britain. Learn more.
  • Explore how archeology shaped knowledge about George Washington, Martha Washington, and the lives of the enslaved people who lived at Mount Vernon at Archaeology Family Day. On July 15, guests will plot objects on a Dig Grid, handle artifacts excavated around Mount Vernon, and sort objects and artifacts with staff and visiting archeologists. Learn more.
  • Watch the 18th-century baking process with Resident Baker Justin Cherry of Half Crown Bakehouse. Each loaf is baked in a reproduction clay oven and made of grains authentic to the period that, when possible, were ground at George Washington's Gristmill. Demonstrations are held from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. on select dates with baked goods available for purchase until sold out. Learn more.
  • Taste Mount Vernon's one-of-a-kind distilled products on Saturdays in June. George Washington’s Whiskey Tasting is an outdoor event featuring samples of three distilled spirits made using 18th-century distilling techniques. Learn more.
  • George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill is open for the season. This fully functioning reconstruction of George Washington's Distillery and Gristmill is located 2.7 miles from the estate’s main entrance. Tours are offered on weekends through October and are included with a Mount Vernon grounds pass. Learn more.

Read the complete listing of Mount Vernon events here. Most Mount Vernon events are free or discounted for members. Information about Mount Vernon membership is available here

Photographs and video related to upcoming events at Mount Vernon are available here and should be attributed to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

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