In 1620, the first pilgrims landed at the Massachusetts waterfront at what is now known as Plymouth Rock. The rock itself has been through many moves and has suffered several breakages over the years, and visitors are sometimes startled by how small it actually is today. It is only about 1/3 its original size. The “1620” which is now carved into the rock was originally painted on – in September 1880, the numbers were carved.
The dated stone is not the only attraction, however. Nearby Plimouth Plantation (yes, the spelling is with an “i” for this organization) has historic re-enactments in a period setting. There are interactive exhibits, unusual farm animals, and festive Thanksgiving Day dining options at this 40-acre, outdoor museum.
Having your Thanksgiving meal at Plimouth Plantation is intended to be an unforgettable experience where modern traditions (such as turkey and stuffing) come together with historic dishes and festivities. There are three dinners held throughout the day, beginning at 11 am and going into the early evening. There is also a buffet option. You will need tickets to get in on the dining celebrations – tickets are available beginning the June before Thanksgiving.
There are various vacation packages available, too. Because Plymouth Rock is the legendary place where the first Thanksgiving celebration was held, it’s a popular Thanksgiving destination, so you’ll need to book lodging and activities early. There are all kinds of guided tours, including a tour of the Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower that brought the pilgrims to Massachusetts in 1620. There are even winery and whale-watching tours.
There is also a Thanksgiving parade at Plymouth, and 2010 is the 15th year it is being held. It is held the weekend before Thanksgiving, so this year it will be November 19th and 21st. The intent of the parade is to bring alive early American history. Soldiers, pilgrims, Native Americans, pioneers, and other historical characters all participate. 2010 is the first year that the parade will go all the way to Plimouth Plantation.
Plymouth Rock is a great place for the whole family to spend Thanksgiving. Even if you can’t be there on Thanksgiving Day itself, the area is an important piece of American history. Plymouth is sometimes called “America’s hometown.” Regardless of where you celebrate your actual Thanksgiving meal, visiting Plymouth Rock will make your Thanksgiving celebrations richer and more meaningful.