Monday, December 1, 2014

Historical Harmonies December Events

Join the ensembles of Historical Harmonies this month as we celebrate the holiday season.

Friday, December 5
6 -9 pm

Limerick Community Park
Swamp Pike & Ziegler Road
Limerick, PA

Victorian Carolers will perform holiday carols at this free event. Crafts, hot cocoa and cookies, and of course, Santa Claus. Bring a new unwrapped toy for Toys For Tots.

Saturday, December 6 
3-7 pm

Elfreth's Alley Museum
Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia, PA

Colonial Revelers will sing and perform antics on the oldest residential street in the U.S. as the neighbors open their colonial era homes to the public.

Unique holiday decorations, refreshments, carriage rides, story tellers, authentic 18th Century mummers, as well as encounters with Ben Franklin, Dolley Madison and colonial Pennsylvania’s own cranky Santa “Belsnickel” himself.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for children. Group rates available. Tickets at

Friday, December 19
5:30-7 pm

Valley Forge National Historical Park
1400 North Outer Line Drive
Valley Forge, PA

Colonial Revelers will be stationed in the Visitor Center, singing 18th century wassail songs, Christmas hymns and other period music to commemorate the day the Continental Army arrived at Valley Forge in 1777.  Come for the party!

Valley Forge National Historical Park is the site of the Continental Army's winter encampment, from December 19, 1777 to June 19, 1778.  Park rangers and Friends of Valley Forge will be on hand for candlelight tours, a "march" up to Muhlenberg's huts, and other 18th century festivities. Refreshments, holiday shopping and free gift wrapping will be available at the Encampment Store at the Visitor Center.  Free and open to the public.

Sunday, December 21
7-9 pm

The Birdhouse Center for the Arts
7 North Main, Lambertville, NJ

Members of Historical Harmonies will add their voices and flair for mischief to the mix to celebrate the shortest day. Bring your favorite songbooks, instruments, drinks/food and friends for a cozy evening of community celebration! Refreshments provided but additional snacks and beverages welcome.

Tickets: $5 individual or $10 whole family. Seating is first come, first served.

The Birdhouse will also have free Morris Dancing in the afternoon from 4-6 pm.

Welcome Yule !

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Colonial Revelers October Events

October is Harvest Festival time! Come hear Colonial Revelers at the following events:

Newlin Grist Mill Fall Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 4
10 am to 4 pm

219 Cheyney Rd (at Route 1)
Glen Mills, PA

Newlin Grist Mill was built in 1704 and operated commercially until 1941. Now it's a historic site and park. At their fall festival, the 18th century comes alive with the sights, sounds, and smells of colonial America. Tradesmen and artisans will demonstrate papermaking, colonial brewing, iron making, brickmaking, blacksmithing, historic baking, and milling throughout the day. Displays include bee skeps, colonial money, and chair caning. Stop by to see a dairy cow, heritage sheep, and chickens. Listen to colonial music, learn period dancing, play colonial games, decorate a pumpkin, and enjoy a hayride through the 160-acre grounds. Colonial Revelers will sing 2 sets, at about 11 am and 1 pm, right out in front of the house. You can't miss us.

Admission is free. Parking is $5 per car. More information at!fall-harvest-festival/c1m63


Downingtown Friends Meeting Fall Festival
Saturday, October 11

9 am to 4 pm

800 East Lancaster Ave.
Downingtown, PA

Colonial Revelers will perform for the lunch crowd at noon, and this year by special request, we'll be adding in a few of our 19th century seasonal songs into our mix of colonial church hymns, tavern songs and tunes from the Revolution.

Also at the festival you'll find craft vendors, live folk and rock music, Downingtown's famous Festival foods (their vegetarian chili is amazing!), and serious garage-sale finds at the Friends Mercantile. You'll be able to learn about the history of Downingtown Friends from the Quaker Heritage Exhibit inside, featuring antique Quaker clothing and memorabilia. At 1:30 pm, in authentic early American Quaker garb, the Friends will reenact the first wedding that took place at the meetinghouse in 1806. For the kids, they offer children’s crafts and games. There’s also a hay wagon ride and exceptional face painting for both kids and adults.

Admission and parking are free. Park across Lancaster Avenue. More info at

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bring In The May!

This year, our May Revelers will partner with the Birdhouse Center for the Arts to properly usher in the May in Lambertville, NJ.

Join us on Saturday, May 4 at 1 pm. Learn songs and dances associated with a traditional May Day celebration! The event is free and open to the public.

The Revelers, dressed in English country costume, will sing a variety of seasonal English and Celtic songs.  The dances have their roots mostly in Morris and English Country dance traditions, though one annual favorite, La Bastringue, hails from French Canada. And, of course, the group will perform the quintessential Maypole dance. Interested audience members will be given a chance to learn the dances and participate.

The Birdhouse Center is located at 7 North Main St. in Lambertville. From the Delaware River, follow Bridge St. about a quarter mile inland to Main. Turn left on Main. The first drive on the left will lead you back to the Birdhouse.  Since we will be performing in their parking lot, please park out on the street.

Monday, September 24, 2012

October 2012 Events

(latest first)

Saturday, October 13, 2012
    9 am to 4 pm

Downingtown Friends Meeting Fall Festival
Downingtown Friends Meeting
800 E. Lancaster Ave. 
Downingtown, PA 19335

Colonial Revelers will sing a concert of 18th century music at noon. Besides the music on the mainstage, the Festival offers delicious foods, children's activities, plants, crafts, and white-elephant sales, all on the grounds of this beautiful historic meeting house. At 1:30 is the annual authentic reenactment of an 1806 Quaker wedding.

Admission is free and so is the parking, across the street.  For more information and directions, go to Downingtown Friend's Festival page.


Saturday, October 6, 2012
    10 am to 4 pm

Newlin Grist Mill Fall Harvest Festival
Newlin Grist Mill
219 South Cheyney Rd (Routes 1 and 322)
Glen Mills, PA 19342

Colonial Revelers will perform at 11 am and 1 pm. In between you can listen to period harp and mandolin music as you stroll around the grounds, meeting over 20 living history demonstrators plying colonial crafts and trades such as spinning, blacksmithing, brick making, and weaving. Colonial meals will be prepared over open hearths and you can watch the mill in action.

This event is free of charge. Go to Newlin Mill's site for more information and directions.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 2012 Events

(latest first)

Saturday, September 22, 2012
    9 am to 5 pm

Montgomery County History Fair
Augustus Lutheran Church
717 West Main St.
Trappe, PA

Colonial Revelers, in costume, will provide music for this unique living history experience. More than 30 historical societies, living history and civic organizations will be present, plus food and other vendors.

For more information, go to the W.S. Hancock Society web page.


Sunday, September 16, 2012   9:30 am to 11 am
St. Thomas Church History Day
St. Thomas Church, Whitemarsh
Bethlehem Pike and Camp Hill  Rds
Fort Washington, PA

Colonial Revelers will sing at the end of the 9:30 service, then downstairs for a signing of a book about the church's history.

For more info, go to St. Thomas's site.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We Love A Parade

" passing thro' the City...great attention given by the officers to see that the men carry their arms well, and are made to appear as decent as circumstances will admit."
Washington's orders, Aug. 23, 1777
On August 24, 1777, Front Street in Philadelphia was the site of a Grand Parade of the Continental Army. The troops were on their way south, to defend the city from the British who were landing along the Chesapeake. Washington decided to take advantage of the situation to flaunt his troops, hoping to win support from the citizens. He took the precaution of sending some of the sutlers and less reputable camp followers (i.e. whores) down to Delaware by another route.

The word "parade"--coined in the 17th century--originally meant to prepare and was used in a military context. Parade grounds were places for troops to practice maneuvers and eventually to display the troops abilities to superior officers and important visitors. This sort of formal, ceremonial marching came to be known in itself as a parade. If the troops were cavalry, it was called a cavalcade.

In the 18th century, "parades" were always military. Civilians held processions or promenades, for weddings, funerals, religious feasts, and holidays like May Day.

By the mid-19th century, the distinctions began to fade. After the Civil War, veterans groups and Ladies Auxiliaries joined military parades held in cities and towns for holidays. Civic bands joined in, then Temperance Leagues, Scout troops, school bands, athletes and cheerleaders. As towns acquired fancy new equipment for their fire and police departments, they'd shine them up to show off to the spectators. And, naturally, all the local politicians would be in attendance, dressed up in their best and waving flags.

Parade floats supposedly got their start in the Middle Ages, when traveling passion plays put their scenery on horse wagons. The name "float" came from the decorated barges on the Seine during the Lord Mayor's Show, a public holiday in London. And, of course, traveling circuses also used floats to arouse interest in their shows. After World War II, even the military used floats, topped by large cannons and missiles.

 This past July 4th, we in Colonial Revelers walked in our first parade. In front of us were County Sheriff Department vehicles. Behind were kids from the local Tai Kwan Do school. The parade included all the traditional participants--high school band, church groups, fire trucks--but also motorcycle clubs, and even a paranormal investigation team.

The best thing about the parade were all the spectators, people from all races, religions and walks of life, all smiling, cheering and waving American flags. We discovered that day that the parade in America had evolved into something that brought everyone together.

Looking forward to next year.

Your obedient servants,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Upcoming Events

for the end of April, beginning of May (latest one first):

Saturday, May 5, 2012    11:25-11:55 am
Norristown Arts Hill Festival
Main Stage
Dekalb and Main Sts.
Norristown, PA 19401

Colonial Revelers will perform songs of early America in costume.

The Norristown Arts Hill Festival goes from 10 am to 5 pm and includes performers in theater, dance, poetry, and all kinds of music. Vendors will be on hand selling food, crafts, and arts-related items. For info, go to


Thursday, April 26, 2012     5:15-6 pm
Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library

Powell and Swede Sts.
Norristown, PA 19401

Colonial Revelers will perform as people gather for the library's One Book-One Norristown event, with author Jerry Spinelli, which will begin at 6 pm. Come early to hear us sing songs popular in the year of Norristown's founding, 1812.

Visit the library website for more info:

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