The man is turning 280 next week – which, in the current economy, is almost old enough to retire. But he’ll still be running around like a crazy person, making making one guest appearance after another as people throughout the area honor America’s most beloved slave-holder.
Valley Forge National Historical Park is going completely nuts with Washington’s birthday, of course. They’ll have a birthday cake made from one of Martha Washington’s old recipes, and they’ll fire a musket or two. Then the cranky, 18th century general will appear and tell everyone to get off his damn lawn.
Also, for the 100th year in a row, the Boy Scouts will be camping out at Valley Forge over the weekend. And on Monday morning, kids will be able to join the Continental Army, getting enlistment papers, dummy muskets and some training in marching maneuvers.
It’ll all sound very charming until the Marine Corps picks up your kid a couple weeks later and puts him on active duty in Afghanistan. And don’t come screaming to me when it happens. You’re the one who signed him up.
Then America’s first president has to haul himself up to Washington Crossing Historic Park on Saturday, where everyone is supposed to sing “Happy Birthday” at 1:30 p.m. Organizers say he’ll also share his birthday cake and cupcakes with everyone – probably because he’ll still be full from Martha’s cake at Valley Forge.
Oh the irony of eating too much at Valley Forge.
The 5th Pennsylvania re-enactors will talk about the Battle of Trenton – which will be useful, since people are still fighting in Trenton to this day, and it still has something to do with taxation.
Finally, Washington (and let’s not forget, he’s already died once after over-exerting himself, so let’s give the guy some credit) has to make an appearance at the Bucks County Children’s Museum on Monday morning and answer a bunch of questions about American history.
But that should be a relatively relaxing way to round out the weekend. He can only talk about the very early part of our history, after all, and can’t be expected to explain what happened in Vietnam or how exactly we feel about Pakistan at the moment.
Oddly, the only place where Washington does not have a scheduled appearance is in Philadelphia itself. We’ll have to make do with pictures at the Second Bank of the United States, on Chestnut Street, where they’re taking people on special tours of his old portraits. The museum also has Washington’s original death mask, by the way, which is probably why he doesn’t want to go there.
But you might see the president cornering a random group of tourists in Old City. He does that occasionally, for some reason.