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Lafayette arrives in NYC for the Bicentennial Tour Kickoff!

August 16 August 18

Gather in New York City for an unforgettable four-day extravaganza as Lafayette sets foot on American soil for the first time in 200 years! LET’S MAKE HISTORY TOGETHER!

We’ve planned an unparalleled experience celebrating the Bicentennial of Lafayette’s Farwell Tour of 1824/25 that will go down in history, complete with “Lafayette” himself and special guests, including best-selling authors, French and American dignitaries, and hundreds of AFL members. Access to unique locations, boat excursions, plays, music, historic walking tours, book signings, and a chance to meet our special guests . . . direct descendants of Lafayette joining us for the first time from their home in France!

Book early, as space is limited for many events due to capacity constraints. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable journey! Once we hit capacity, there will NOT be additional access.

Your tickets include all transportation, entry fees, activities, and meals!

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August 16, 2024 (Friday)

Picture yourself boating through New York Harbor, accompanied by Lafayette and his companions, just as they did two centuries ago. Join us as we once again welcome the Guest of the Nation! Not only will you have the pleasure of the company of our beloved French hero, but you’ll also have the honor of meeting his 8th and 9th generation granddaughters, Virginie, Heloise, and Adelaide La Fayette, making their inaugural visit to the United States.

Don’t miss the opportunity for memorable photos as we glide past the Statue of Liberty on our way to a grand reception. Our arrival party will feature the Cadets Lafayette band, Boy Scouts, military personnel, dignitaries, and devoted fans. Following a warm welcome with a 13-gun salute from Fort Hamilton and a ceremonial troop review, we’ll proceed to Evacuation Plaza for a flag-raising ceremony, proclamation, and blessing by the Lenape Native American tribe.

Our journey continues up Broadway to City Hall, where we’ll reenact historic speeches delivered in the same location. In the Council Chambers, take a moment to admire the Samuel F. B. Morse portrait of Lafayette before boarding a coach to the Alexander Hamilton Customs House.

Here, you’ll have the extraordinary opportunity to hear from Ray Halbritter, representing the Oneida Indian Nation’s Wolf Clan and serving as CEO of Oneida Nation Enterprises, along with James Kirby Martin, co-author of “Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution.” Engage in Q&A and explore the National Museum of the American Indian before visiting the iconic Fraunces Tavern Museum.

Experience a special Lafayette exhibit and stand in the very room where George Washington bid farewell to his officers. The day will culminate with laughter, love, and many fascinating stories, all while enjoying libations and fine fare in Fraunces Tavern.

August 17, 2024 (Saturday)

Start your day at Battery Park, where you’ll have the chance to capture a memorable photo with Lafayette and his companions in front of Castle Clinton, a significant stop on his Farewell Tour. Embark on a guided walking tour of historic lower Manhattan, visiting landmarks such as Trinity Church to pay homage to Lafayette’s close friend, Alexander Hamilton, and St. Paul’s Church, where George Washington once worshipped. Explore various sites and stories linked to both the American Revolution and Lafayette’s Farewell Tour.

Conclude your tour (or start your day) at South Street Seaport and surround yourself with Living History events, historical buildings, lectures, and tours. Step aboard the majestic tall ship Wavertree for a discussion on the history of L’Hermione, the vessel that transported Lafayette and French soldiers to aid in America’s fight for freedom during its darkest hour. Learn about the current state of the replica ship, which graced the NY Harbor in 2015 and now seeks support for its preservation. Visit New York’s oldest printing press firm, Browne & Co., Stationers, established in 1775. Join a walking tour delving into Robert Fulton’s steam ferry, which revolutionized international transportation, the Black Ball line to Liverpool, which advanced communication to Europe, and the construction of the 362-mile Erie Canal, one of the greatest engineering projects of the 19th Century (all spawning right here at South Street!)

Next, journey to the Park Avenue Armory for a delightful lunch and an exclusive tour of this magnificent building. Marvel at the renowned Veterans’ Room, designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, a member of the Seventh Regiment. Engage in period activities, games, and style showcases, and meet esteemed authors like Mike Duncan, NYT bestselling author of Hero of Two Worlds, and AFL president Alan Hoffman, who translated Lafayette’s secretary’s diary during the Farewell Tour.

Continue your cultural exploration with a brief stroll to FIAF Florence Gould Hall Theater, where you’ll enjoy a performance of The Rivals, the same play Lafayette experienced during his tour. Lafayette himself will make a special appearance to introduce the cast and share anecdotes from his Tour.

The evening concludes with a festive reception at the French Consulate, celebrating Lafayette and the enduring friendship between the United States and France.

Historical Costume is warmly welcomed but not required!

August 18, 2024 (Sunday)

Start the morning with a tour of the Bartow Pell Mansion house and gardens. The director of the Bronx Historical Society will speak about the significance of the American Revolution in The Bronx (a much-underappreciated borough of NYC!) and about Lafayette’s 1824 visit.

Next, a private tour of St. Paul’s Church and graveside visit where Lafayette’s friend Colonel Pell is buried. Members will be transported by charter bus (or follow in their own cars) passing several locations where Lafayette stopped during the Farewell Tour on the way to Westchester County.

First stop: New Rochelle where the Huguenot and New Rochelle Historical Society will depict life during the Farewell Tour in a living history experience. This will be open to the community to educate the public about our “Favorite Fighting Frenchman,” complete with reenactors, music, and children’s events. Enjoy lunch provided by the Beechmont Tavern.

Next stop: Mamaroneck for a multimedia presentation and then to Rye to visit the Square House where Lafayette actually ate during the Farewell Tour! The final stop of the tour will be at the Byram River at the Connecticut border for a handoff to the Connecticut Lafayette contingent just where it happened two hundred years ago.

After a day filled with proclamations, plays, historic discussions, and food trucks, we will top it all off at the Pavilions at Rye Beach with dinner from the Barley House in a magical setting overlooking the beach and Long Island Sound at sunset!

Transportation back to NYC will be provided for charter bus ticket holders.

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Reminder: Your tickets include all transportation, entry fees, activities, and meals!

Don’t miss out on this epic event!

New York, NY