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Celebrating Plymouth’s 400 Anniversary

The year 2020 will mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony! We are excited to celebrate this amazing milestone and will keep you informed in future blog posts.

Plymouth mayflower celebration 400

Plymouth 400 Events

The planned Plymouth 400 commemorative events will highlight America’s story of exploration, innovation, self-governance, religious expression, immigration and thanksgiving. The celebratory events will start next month and continue through next year.

Illuminate Thanksgiving 2019

November 23, 2019, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

This important annual event focuses on young people and their ability to be that “one small candle” making a difference in the lives of many. Taking place on the same day as the annual America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade, the program will begin in Town Square outside the National Pilgrim Memorial Meetinghouse and will be immediately followed by a Procession of Lights down Leyden Street. The event culminates on the Plymouth waterfront for main stage events, including performances by Northern Lights A Capella Chorus and Plymouth International Chorus.

Plymouth 400 Commemoration Opening Ceremony

June 26, 2020

The Opening Ceremony of the Plymouth 400 Commemoration will be a two-hour event of historical content, musical headliners, interpretive readings, choreographed movement, original productions, and visual narratives to create a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. The Plymouth 400 Legacy Time Capsule will be introduced, and the first items will be placed inside by special guests. Honoring the past and celebrating the future, each of the commemoration themes — exploration, innovation, self-governance, religious expression, immigration, and thanksgiving — will be presented in creative ways. Invited participants include state and federal officials, representatives of the UK, The Netherlands, colony partners, and many more.

Official Maritime Salute to the 400th Anniversary

June 27 – 28, 2020

The Official Maritime Salute pays tribute to the Pilgrims’ journey on board the Mayflower from Plymouth, England, to the site of Plymouth Colony in the new world. A regatta of wooden ships, yachts, work boats, official vessels, and pleasure craft will culminate in a traditional New England lobster dinner on the waterfront. Military fanfare and maritime programming will be part of the day’s festivities.

Wampanoag Ancestors Walk

August 1, 2020

The Wampanoag Ancestors Walk will be led by the Wampanoag tribes of Massachusetts. Placards will be carried with the names of the original 69 villages of the Wampanoag Nation. Participants will pay homage to Massasoit and King Phillip and will stop at designated sites to bless the spots where Wampanoag ancestors walked. The walk will conclude with a drum ceremony and homage to Native souls, followed by a reception.

Official State House Salute to the 400th Anniversary

September 14, 2020

This State House Ceremony will honor the Pilgrim forefathers and Native people who are immortalized in the historic founding of Plymouth Colony. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Pilgrim families, and Wampanoag families will be in attendance. Additional, invited participants include the Governor and State Legislators, Federal Legislators, Representatives of The UK, The Netherlands, The Ancient and Honorables, and more.

Embarkation Festival

September 19 – 20, 2020

The Embarkation Festival will be a grand cultural and arts festival that will honor the traditions, cuisine, and music of not only the settlers and Wampanoag people but of the diverse population of immigrants who have become the fabric of American life. World music, culinary events, artisan crafts, and cultural exhibits will define the many cultures represented. People will be engaged in America’s story of exploration, immigration, innovation, self-governance, religious expression, and thanksgiving. National and international in scope, the program will include performing groups, chefs, artists, storytellers, and student projects from around the world.

Indigenous History Conference & Powwow

October 29 – November 1, 2020

This conference will address the legacy of colonization experienced by Wampanoag and other Native people in the (now) New England area.

Illuminate Thanksgiving 2020

November 20 – 25, 2020

This series of events leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday promotes gratitude and giving. These youth-oriented events are designed to create an inspirational atmosphere anywhere that people gather, to stimulate gratitude and giving in communities, groups, and families. Based upon Governor William Bradford's quote: “ . . . as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone to many . . .” the One Small Candle Award is given to an individual who has made a difference in many lives at a young age.

Where to Stay

If you are planning to attend any of the events of this incredible celebration, it’s not too early to book a place to stay, as rental homes will be in great demand. Here are some great possibilities:

1) Beautiful Private Oceanfront Home Near Historic Plymouth

2) Luxury Historic “House by the Sea”

3) Beautiful Oceanfront Home on Private Priscilla Beach

4) Beach Side Vacation Home Sitting on Oceanfront

5) Beautiful Priscilla Beach House with Private Beach

6) Incredible Townhouse Rich with Architectural Detail and Antiques

7) Beautiful home in the Sand with Breathtaking Ocean Views

For more detailed information on events and the celebration, be sure to visit the Plymouth 400 website.

About Jennie Sparrow

About Jennie Sparrow: A true Cape Codder, born and raised, I am thrilled to call Cape Cod my home. I have been with WeNeedaVacation since 2017 and am grateful that my position at WeNeedaVacation has offered me the opportunity to combine my love for the area with my passion for marketing. My favorite pastime is driving onto Nauset's outer beach with my family where I'm happiest feeling the sun on my face and the sand between my toes!