Tag Archives: United States

Take a Pilgrim Plantation THANKSGIVING Vacation

24 Nov

by CHERI SUNDRA

Plymouth Rock           Photo Credit: Tom Harjo

Despite earning the title “Most Disappointing Historical Landmark”, Pilgrim Memorial State Park is one of the most heavily visited locations within the National State Park System.  More than 1 million people visit Plymouth Rock each year to pay homage to the faith and courage of the men and women who founded the first New England colony.  Luckily for history buffs and the tourist industry in Plymouth, Massachusetts, there is more to do year round than gaze upon a weathered hunk of Dedham granite.  Yet nothing beats walking along the same terrain as the Pilgrims, and spending time in this destination filled with history and tradition during the “America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration”, which occurs annually on the third weekend of November.
Wampanoag Guide

Photo Credit:  eracose (Margaret Ayad)

This year, the 15th Annual Thanksgiving Celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts was held on November 19th thru the 21st, 2010.  The celebration of Thanksgiving is literally brought to life as Native Americans, Pilgrims, Soldiers, Pioneers and Patriots climb right out of our history and emerge onto the streets of Plymouth.  One of the major features of the celebration is the parade that begins on the Plymouth historic waterfront.  This is America’s only historically accurate chronological parade which shows the preservation of America’s history by starting with the Pilgrim era and representing each century from the 17th thru the 21st.  The parade is both educational and entertaining to attract visitors from all corners of the United States and beyond.  It includes historical reenactments, vintage American cars and elaborate handmade floats.  The festival surrounding the parade is designed to treat visitors to a visual trip back to colonial times.
What to make for Thanksgiving?

Photo Credit:  sfPhotocraft

The Annual Thanksgiving Celebration also coincides with the New England Food Festival where attendees line up at the entrance by Plymouth Rock to sample the very best soups, chowders and desserts from area restaurants.  New England style culinary demonstrations are performed by the renowned chefs from Le Cordon Blue and the Culinary College of Boston.  At the food festival, chefs vie for valuable prizes as well as the prestige that comes with being a winner.

While enjoying the scenic views of Plymouth Harbor at Pilgrim Memorial State Park, visitors can admire The Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction of the type of ship that brought the Pilgrims from England to America in 1620, which is anchored at the park and open for tours from March through the end of November.  Visitors can climb aboard the ship and explore her from bow to stern while encountering costumed role players, modern-day staff and maritime artisans.

Happy Thanksgiving

PHOTO CREDIT:  Tim King

No one knows for sure what happened to the original Mayflower.  The last record of the ship was an assessment of her value in 1624.  The Mayflower II was constructed in England and sailed to America in 1957, and is officially part of the Plimoth Plantation.

History literally comes alive at the living history museum that recreates the original Pilgrim settlement where it’s 1627 all of the time.   Plimoth Plantation is open daily from late March through late November annually.  Visitors are treated to an authentic recreation of the original Pilgrim settlement including the recreated home of the Pilgrims’ Native American neighbors and a food program featuring 17th-century cuisine.

There is no more historically appropriate location for eating Thanksgiving dinner than at Plimoth Plantation itself, where Pilgrim role players and Native interpreters will entertain dinner guests with stories, riddles and music, while they dine on classic roast turkey with the founders of the feast.

On Thanksgiving Day, downtown Plymouth provides a day full of fun festivities in celebration of the town’s significance in being the home for the very first Thanksgiving.  Next year, plan your own Plimoth Plantation Thanksgiving Vacation—you’ll be glad that you did!

Cheri Sundra © 2010
All Rights Reserved