George Washington’s annual Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River is still on!
And it’s all thanks to American resourcefulness and a handful of inner-city students who are lending their hand-made boats to George and his troops.
Due to low water levels, Washington Crossing Historic Park is unable to launch the Durham boats usually used for the annual crossing (this year is the 65th crossing). Enter Philadelphia Waterborne, a non-profit program that teaches boat-building skills to middle- and high-school students. The program is lending Washington Crossing Historic Park six handmade, 12-foot rowboats to get General Washington across the Delaware River for this year’s reenactment. The boats only draw about six inches of water, which means they can get across the river under current conditions.
In fact, there’s plenty of historical authenticity to this unique reenactment! While Durham boats were used in the original 1776 crossing, historians agree that General Washington probably used various river craft to make his daring Christmas Day crossing.
Christmas Day Crossing: December 25, 2017
TIME: Noon to 3 PM (actual crossing at 1 PM)
DETAILS: This event draws thousands of fellow citizens each year. We suggest arriving before 1 PM to ensure a good place along the viewing line.
- Washington Crossing Historic Park is located at the intersection of Routes 532 and 32 (River Road) in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. Directions can be found here. Parking will be clearly marked.
- Individuals with disabilities who need special assistance or accommodations to attend should call the Visitor Center at 215-493-4076.
- River crossings are contingent upon safe conditions for participants. However, even if conditions do not allow for crossing, ceremonies, speeches and commemorative activities still occur.
- Registration for reenactors is available online only until December 1.
- For more colonial-era activities, the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton hosts reenactments of the Battle of Trenton and other celebrations during its annual Patriots Week festivities.