Updated: May 4
Mount Vernon is one of the most iconic historic sites in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Privately owned, Mount Vernon strives to build a welcoming community. On a regular visit, one can walk the grounds, tour the Mansion, visit the museum, and chat with various living historians. Tobias Lear, the personal secretary of George Washington, is my favorite.
But this is not a regular visit; this is Revolutionary War Weekend, an annual spring event that brings the Revolutionary War to life. Mount Vernon's 12-acre field is transformed into a field for military drilling, calvary, and tactical demonstrations. Visitors can walk the encampments of the Continentals and Redcoats. On the Bowling Green (the area in front of the Mansion), visitors will find a variety of vendors, here Fife and Drum, at scheduled times and have excellent photo opportunities. In the Interpretative Center, visitors have a chance to chat and learn from Tobias Lear and Martha Washington.
Of course, General George Washington also makes several appearances throughout the day!
Vendors are selling hand-crafted, era-appropriate items for those like me who need to walk away with a souvenir. Whether you are looking for clothing, household items, reenactment items--you name it, you'll find it. I walked away with a fabulous tea strainer, a cool spoon to scoop my loose leaf tea, and what I thought was a peg leg. Let me explain that last part. For those who don't know, my favorite founding father is Gouverneur Morris. He is my favorite for several reasons, including his colorful stories. After losing his leg in an accident, Morris also had a peg leg (that is another story in itself). So, I know nothing about smoking and or tools used for tobacco. While shopping, I found some pretty neat pipe tampers (I never knew that was a thing), and I spotted one that looked like a peg leg, and being the Morris fangirl I am, I decided I wanted it. Except...I learned later it was not a peg leg, but instead a shoe last.
Here are some tips if you plan to visit Mount Vernon's Revolutionary War Week:
Dress for the weather and walking! Bring sunblock or other sun protection as there is little shade in the areas where the best events occur.
2. Outside food and drink are not permitted, but they do have a food truck with ample food it and their food court. There is also the Mount Vernon Inn, but reservations are recommended.
3. Make sure to get a copy of their events and map. It includes all the times and locations, helping you plan your day.
4. If seeing the various demonstrations on the 12-acre field is a must for you. I recommend staking out your seat at least 15 mins before start time. Spectators are required to stand (or sit) behind a rope.
5. Most vendors take cards these days, but having some cash on you won't hurt.
6. Have fun!
7. For non-members, tickets include admission to the event, tour mansions (if you select that), grounds, and museum. For members, the entire weekend is free!
For more information on visiting Mount Vernon, whether you attend this event or any other time, please visit The History List's page on Visiting Mount Vernon.
If you enjoy reenactments of all eras, The History List also has a list of various reenactments happening in 2022.