Friday, November 01, 2013

Friday: Gov. McDonnell at historical marker dedication commemorating first Thanksgiving at Berkeley Plantation

You know those state historical markers you see along Virginia byways and highways? The ones that tell of an event or person of interest, often with a pull-off wide enough for a vehicle or two? Being a history geek, I love those signs and my sister even has a book that lists them all in the event you aren't able to stop.

Today a new marker will be dedicated on Route 5 near Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County east of Richmond with Governor Bob McDonnell addressing the dedication. The event is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. and will also include Dr. William C. Bosher, a respected educator in Virginia, and Malcolm E. “Jamie” Jamieson, owner of Berkeley Plantation.

The unveiling by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources will commemorate the First Thanksgiving in Virginia, as declared by Captain John Woodlief who arrived on December 4, 1619, with 37 men who had sailed from Bristol, England, to the New World.

A member of the Virginia Company and Jamestown settler, Woodlief carried instructions that the day of his ship's arrival would "be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to almighty God." The men celebrated their safe journey by giving thanks to God, creating a tradition that became the basis of our annual celebration of Thanksgiving.

The celebration continues to this day and is remembered each year at Berkeley Plantation with the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival that is held on the first Sunday in November. The free event will be observed this year on Sunday, November 3, 2013, from noon until 4:00 p.m. with a Colonial celebration that includes a parade, horse-drawn carriages, fife and drum performers, costumed interpreters, and musical entertainment. Food for purchase will be provided by The Catering Company of Williamsburg.

The re-enactment of the landing will begin at 3:00, followed by the Chickahominy Tribal Dancers who will perform a traditional friendship dance. Master of Ceremonies will be Richmond radio personality Tim Timberlake.

The public is encouraged to take chairs and blankets. For more information and directions, go to the webside:

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