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The Annual Christmas Crossing Reenactment

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See Events Listing for more information about this year's event.

The annual memorial recreation of Washington Crossing the Delaware River is a great event for the entire family. Come and reflect on the historic activities of 1776 and witness this great commemorative event. Speeches and activities for this event are sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The annual dress rehearsal: Not only do General Washington and his troops cross the Delaware River in uniform just as they do on Christmas day, but additional activities and demonstrations take place throughout the historic village. The event/village activities will occur from 11am to 3pm, with the crossing time occurring around 1:00 pm. River crossings are contingent upon safe conditions for participants. If the river/conditions do not allow for the crossing, do not hesitate to join us anyway as speeches, activities, and demonstrations will still occur to commemorate this great event. During the crossing, visitors are to remain behind the rope line. On the day of the dress rehearsal, admission is charged.

On Christmas day the crossing will occur around 1:00 pm. The village houses are not open on this day as all activity will occur at the river. River crossings are contingent upon safe conditions for participants. If the river/conditions do not allow for the crossing, do not hesitate to join us anyway as speeches and ceremonies will still occur to commemorate this great event. During the crossing, visitors are to remain behind the rope line. We suggest visitors arrive before 1:00 on Christmas day to assure parking and to take a place along the viewing line.

Participants

Washington Crossing Historic Park administers and organizes the annual Christmas Crossing of the Delaware River. All registrants who meet eligibility requirements are welcome to participate.

In order to be eligible to participate you must:

  • send the Park a letter with your full name, address, and phone number in order to receive registration paperwork for the Christmas Crossing (If you participated in the previous year's Christmas Crossing, you will automatically receive registration paperwork.)
  • be at least 18 years of age (There are no exceptions to this rule even if a parent is present and taking part in the reenactment.)
  • fill out and sign the legal waiver/registration information and send it back to the Park in a timely fashion
  • have a doctor's certificate attached to your registration paperwork stating you are physically capable to take part in this activity
  • attend the dress rehearsal as well as the Christmas day activities...if you are a boatman, you must also attend a boat drill prior to the dress rehearsal
  • come attired in a historically appropriate outfit, including appropriate footwear, for the Revolutionary War period — modern attire is not appropriate for dress rehearsal nor the Christmas Crossing. We cannot allow troops on the boats with bare feet.

Registration information is usually sent out in mid September. Registration paperwork must be filled out completely and returned in a timely fashion. If you are registered and unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible as crew assignments are based upon registration numbers.

For the Christmas Crossing, only the role of General George Washington is established and recognized by the Park. All other participants play the generic role of an officer or a troop member without distinction. A participant is not required to be a part of any reenacting unit, society or historical association.

River crossings are contingent upon safe conditions for all participants. However, even if the conditions do not allow for crossing, ceremonies/speeches/commemorative activities still occur which require troop and boatmen participation.

Press

We welcome photography and filming of the annual Christmas Crossing at Washington Crossing Historic Park. In order to make the day run smoothly for the media, please be aware of the following information:

Press passes will be issued the day of the Christmas Crossing event. Each member of the press must request a pass in person, show credentials and sign in at the site. Members of the press are to understand that receiving a press pass does not give permission for camera crews/photographers and/or reporters to cross safety lines nor to interfere with the site's program nor the public's enjoyment of the program in any way.

Thank you for your understanding and attention to this matter.

If you do not comply with these instructions, Washington Crossing Historic Park has the right to ask you to leave the premises.