We are all pilgrims in the most literal sense of the word. That is why the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum has plunged headlong into coordinating Provincetown 400, the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims who landed in Provincetown before settling in Plymouth. The Pilgrim Monument was built to honor the courageous voyage of the Mayflower’s “strangers and saints” and the signing of the Mayflower Compact, in Provincetown Harbor, which was the first governance document in the “new world.”
Over the past 400 years, Provincetown has continued to be a haven for pilgrims from all walks of life. Provincetown has welcomed Portuguese fisherman and whalers along with countless artists and writers and for decades has embraced the LGBTQIA community like few other places in the world.
In 2020, we will be commemorating the 400th anniversary with several signature events including bringing the Mayflower II to Provincetown from September 7-14. The iconic ship – a major exhibit of Plimoth Last Word Plantation – is being brought to Provincetown by the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, which is overseeing Provincetown 400 events, programs and activities
Mayflower II is tentatively scheduled to arrive in Provincetown Harbor on or about Monday, September 7, 2020 and to depart on Monday, September 14, 2020. During the visit, Mayflower II will be the setting of the historical re-enactment of the signing of the Mayflower Compact in Provincetown Harbor in 1620. This re-enactment will allow the public to witness the history that happened in Provincetown waters in 1620. Throughout the week, Mayflower II will be open for public visitation with ticketed admissions and is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors.
The Mayflower II will also be a focal point of other Provincetown 400 activities, including the signature event in Provincetown with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) during its 2020 Congress beginning on Friday, September 11, 2020. The commemorative event for GSMD will occur on Sunday morning, September 13, 2020 with a Memorial Service and Wreath Laying in the harbor, followed by a procession of GSMD members escorted by the Masons from Provincetown Harbor to the Pilgrim Monument where a luncheon will be held.
During 2020, the PMPM will also be installing our first new permanent exhibition where the stories of the Mayflower Pilgrims and the Wampanoag native people will be featured. The portrayal of the history of the Wampanoag native people, their presence on Cape Cod prior to the arrival of the Mayflower Pilgrims, their interactions with the Pilgrims and the significance of that time period in history, will be the focus of our new exhibition and the only one of its kind in the United States.
We are working with the Mashpee, Massachusetts-based Smoke Sygnals – the leading Native American creative agency in the Northeast – and plan on opening the exhibition in April 2020 to coincide with the kickoff to the 400th anniversary commemoration. The new permanent exhibition will be located in the Museum’s Mayflower Room and will include interactive videos and panels to educate visitors on the accurate story about the local Wampanoag people and their interface with the Mayflower Pilgrims and other colonists.
We invite the business community and others to join us and be part of history-making in Provincetown for these two significant projects: the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ first landing and the new Wampanoag/Mayflower Pilgrim exhibition. There are many ways to be involved including sponsorships, naming opportunities and volunteer opportunities. Your support will ensure that pilgrims will continue to visit Cape Cod for generations to come.
Dr. K. David Weidner is Executive Director, Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508–487-1310.
The original article was published in Cape & Plymouth Business