Dance, Dance Revolutionary

Reenactors are ready to rock this October!

Yankee Doodlers of Historic Germantown
Battle Boogie Throwdown (First Annual)
DATE: Saturday October 4, 2020
10AM – 4PM

DETAILS:  This year, the Battle of Germantown comes alive in dance!

One day in history, the Revolutionary War turned Cliveden into a battleground for General George Washington’s soldiers against the British in the fight to liberate occupied Philadelphia. Honoring this significant moment in history dates back to a Centennial Celebration held at Cliveden in 1877. These days, though, it seems irresponsible to have people running around firing blanks and pretending to get shot in a community that’s traumatized by gun violence.

In a surprise move that’s raising eyebrows as well as awareness, this year’s theme for Germantown’s Revolutionary Festival is “Bust a Move, Not a Musket.”

Red coats and Continental blues will recreate all the skirmishes up to (and including) the area’s most famous military engagement – in dance! Regiments in full regalia compete for titles in Jazz, Hip-Hop, Modern and Interpretive styles. With live drums and world-class fifing.

“It’s all the pageantry of Colonial combat, minus the explosions and gunfire that tend to put a damper on the relaxed party vibe we’re after,” said Seamus Sauergrott of the 1st Battalion of Swampoodle and chair of the Yankee Doodle committee tasked with revamping this popular celebration that attracts more than 5,000 visitors each year. “People seem to love HAMILTON so we’re hoping the crowds still come,” Sauergrott explained.

The Revolutionary Festival is better than ever, with a full day of family-friendly, munitions-free entertainment. “When you think about it, historic battle re-enactments kinda glorify warfare, and probably reinforce a simplistic, white supremacist understanding of the birth of our country,” Sauergrott said. “Our bad,” he added.

Dozens of re-enactor groups are diligently rehearsing for a shot at more than $150 in resin plaques and fake crystal trophies. Come out for a whole new spin on American History – and some leaps, dips, cha-chas and other fancy footwork you’ve likely never seen before from costumed middle-aged dudes on a mock battlefield.

Warmups 12 PM, Showcase of Stars 3 PM
Rain or Shine | Free Admission | Fun For All Ages

Press inquiries, please contact Molly or call 800-ROF-LMAO.

April Fools!  Did we have you going?

But then — do we almost kind of sort of have a point? Cliveden thinks so.


Cliveden of the National Trust has partnered with The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage this year to host Considering Re-enactments: The Battle of Germantown in the Light of 21st Century Gun Violence a 3-part project to discover how the site’s current interpretation of Revolutionary era history affects (and resonates with) neighbors.

Because gun violence is no joke! And neither is romanticizing a one-sided story without due credit to the women, Indigenous, enslaved and indentured who helped found this nation but reaped few (if any) rights or benefits. America’s real story is so much richer, if we dare to take our patriotic blinders off.

Considering Re-enactments, PART TWO: Wednesday April 29 (7pm – 9pm) at Cliveden
Jacob Charles (Executive Director of the Center for Firearms Law at Duke University) will discuss changes in gun legislation since America’s founding followed by a facilitated discussion. Topics include the effects of the loud sensory components of the re-enactment, the storytelling focus of the event and the celebration vs. commemoration of recreating violent historic events. Free & open to the public (register at link). Ages 16+  PLEASE NOTE: THIS DATE MAY CHANGE PER COVID RESTRICTIONS (Follow event on Facebook for latest info.) 

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday October 3, 2020 

The Battle of Germantown Festival — Although there’ll be no Colonial dance-off this year (boo!), it’s still a fascinating event and a big community fundraiser (yay!). Food, kid activities, beer garden, more. FREE (10am – 4pm)

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