River crossing reenactment returns, literally, to NJ on Christmas
Thousands of people on both sides of the Delaware River normally gather every Christmas to watch a time-honored restaging of Gen. George Washington and his ragtag American troops traversing icy waters to carry out an ambush in Trenton.
Not in 2020, as with so many other events, the crossing reenactment went virtual.
However, for 2021 it is back and very similar to pre-COVID times in 2019, according to Jennifer Martin, executive director of the Friends of Washington Crossing Park.
There are actually two parks, one on the Pennsylvania side in Washington Crossing, and the other off of the Jersey banks of the river, in Titusville.
Hundreds of actors — make that reenactors — participate every year.
A "first crossing," on Dec. 12, could be seen for a fee, but the Christmas Day crossing is free of charge. The event runs from 12 to 3 p.m., according to the Washington Crossing Historic Park website, but the actual reenactment steps off around 1 p.m.
The person playing Gen. Washington is traditionally tasked with giving a speech to rally the troops, which is one element the park says is preserved even if inclement weather prevents an actual crossing.
Of course, after the Americans reached the Garden State, they soldiered on to the Battle of Trenton.
That pivotal fight is another reenactment history-hungry New Jerseyans can head to, during Patriots Week at the Old Barracks Museum.
Be sure to check Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow's 5-day forecast and weather blog as these events approach!
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.