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Bicentennial of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour Visits Fredericksburg, VA

November 23 November 24

November 23, 2024

The Fredericksburg Lafayette Bicentennial Committee welcomes you to George Washington’s hometown and site of the James Monroe Presidential Library and Museum. Fredericksburg is known for its authenticity and our commemoration of General Lafayette’s November 1824 visit is based on the detailed account contained in “Reception of General Lafayette in Fredericksburg”, by Rufus B. Merchant.

10:00am – 1:00pm: Market Square Reception and Old Town Hall Receiving Line

@ Market Square and Fredericksburg Area Museum, 907 Princess Anne Street

Fredericksburg civic and military officials, cadets and local veterans gather to greet Lafayette, who arrives in a horse drawn carriage along with his fellow travelers. The entourage forms on Caroline Street and advances up the alley, arriving at Market Square. The Mayor, City Council and others offer welcoming greetings. Period music and a festive atmosphere set the celebratory tone for the General’s stay. Later, in the Fredericksburg Area Museum (Town Hall in 1824), Gen. Lafayette greets visitors who queue up to shake his hand. The Museum also offers its keystone exhibit “Lafayette’s World: Revolutionary Ideals and the Limits of Freedom.”

1:00pm – 4:00pm: Tours of Fredericksburg, Highlighting Venues of Lafayette’s Visit

@ Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. (HFFI), Market Square, 907 Princess Anne Street

HFFI tour guides offer free, 20-minute walking tours along the streets of Fredericksburg, following the footsteps of Lafayette’s historic visit. See the parade route, homes where he dined, and public buildings he visited. Learn about Lafayette’s close friendships with George Washington and James Monroe. Tours leave from Market Square every thirty minutes; no registration needed. Repeated on Sunday.

1:00pm – 4:00pm: Tours of Masonic Lodge No. 4

@ 803 Princess Anne Street.

Tour George Washington’s Mother Lodge for an exploration of this historic fraternity’s importance to Gen. Lafayette, himself a Freemason. Tours are available until 4 on both days, with artifacts on display such as the original punch bowl used to celebrate the occasion. This event is free and open to all. Donations to the Lodge are accepted. Local organizations are welcome to reserve a table in the Baker Room by contacting secretary@masoniclodge4.org. Repeated on Sunday. 

6:00pm – 9:00pm The Lafayette Ball (this is a ticketed event)

@ Rappahannock Ballroom, University of Mary Washington Alumni Executive Center, 1119 Hanover Street

The Fredericksburg Sister City Association (Fredericksburg and Frejus, France) hosts a ball honoring Gen. Lafayette. Members of the Regency Society of Virginia perform nineteenth century English country dances to period music. Music of the Regiment, a musical ensemble focusing on nineteenth century compositions, presents musical interludes. Ball attendees are welcome to come in period or modern formal attire and to join in the historic performance. Finger foods and libations are offered, and conversation with the General and his entourage is encouraged. Purchase tickets at www.fredericksburgfrejus.com/lafayette-lecture-donations 

Become a member of the American Friends of Lafayette to be the first to know when registration opens!

November 24, 2024

The Fredericksburg Lafayette Bicentennial Committee welcomes you to George Washington’s hometown and site of the James Monroe Presidential Library and Museum. Fredericksburg is known for its authenticity and our commemoration of General Lafayette’s November 1824 visit is based on the detailed account contained in “Reception of General Lafayette in Fredericksburg”, by Rufus B. Merchant.

Event List

10:00am – 11:30am: General Lafayette’s Masonic Welcome

@ Masonic Lodge No. 4, 803 Princess Anne Street

At 10, experience a recreation of Lafayette’s 1824 visit, during which he was made an honorary Lodge member. The event includes historic speeches and a unique ceremony.

Tours will be available until 4pm on both days, with artifacts on display such as the original punch bowl used to celebrate the occasion. This event is free and open to all. Donations to the Lodge are accepted. Local organizations are welcome to reserve a table in the Baker Room by contacting secretary@masoniclodge4.org

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Historic Church Service for General Lafayette

@ St. George’s Episcopal Church  905 Princess Anne St. 

Gen. Lafayette and his entourage, along with dignitaries, officials and much of the population of Fredericksburg, attend a church service of prayer and thanksgiving in the General’s honor. The church’s rector, the Rev. Edward McGuire, a fellow Mason, delivers the address. This special service recreates this historic event.

1:00pm – 4:00pm: Tours of Masonic Lodge No. 4

@ 803 Princess Anne Street

Tour George Washington’s Mother Lodge for an exploration of this historic fraternity’s importance to Gen. Lafayette, himself a Freemason. Tours are available until 4pm on both days, with artifacts on display such as the original punch bowl used to celebrate the occasion. This event is free and open to all. Donations to the Lodge are accepted. Local organizations are welcome to reserve a table in the Baker Room by contacting secretary@masoniclodge4.org.

https://fxbg.com/lafayette-commemoration-weekend/