In the midst of the Revolutionary War, General George Washington and his Continental Army spent the harsh winter of 1777 to 1778 encamped at what is now Valley Forge National Historical Park.
This Presidents’ Day weekend, visitors to the sprawling park about 20 miles outside of Center City Philadelphia can celebrate America’s first Commander-in-Chief with free events at the very site where Washington spend his birthday in 1778.
On Sunday, February 16, a local living history reenactment group will encamp at the Valley Forge Muhlenberg Brigade for the day. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., members of the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment will be on-site in full regalia to demonstrate drill and artillery maneuvers. Look for live action at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Also on Sunday, visit the Valley Forge Education Center in the park for the ranger talk General Washington: Commander-in-Chief. In a 45-minute program starting a 2 p.m., hear why Congress chose Washington to command the army, and what strategies he followed in order to eventually win the Revolutionary War.
On Monday, February 17, take part in a birthday party for America’s first president, who would be celebrating 282 years. Washington’s Birthday Party kicks off at 10 a.m. in the education center with crafts and games, and continues until 2 p.m. with colonial-themed activities, army drills and — of course — birthday cake.
For more on these Presidents’ Day festivities, check here.
Travelers, take note that recent heavy snow has caused a number of tree limbs and branches to break and fall throughout the park. The park is open, but do travel with caution.
Presidents’ Day Weekend at Valley Forge National Historical Park
When: Sunday, February 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, February 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: 1400 N. Outer Line Drive, Route 23 and North Gulph Road, King of Prussia
More info: www.nps.gov/vafo