SKIRMISH ON KINGS HIGHWAY REENACTMENT SET FOR SATURDAY, JUNE 4 AT INDIAN KING TAVERN IN HADDONFIELD
4TH ANNUAL EVENT TO ALSO HONOR THE MILITARY, EMERGENCY RESPONDERS
(16/52) TRENTON – Re-enactors portraying Loyalists to the King of England and Colonialists will bring history alive as they square off in downtown Haddonfield on Saturday, June 4 to mark the 238th anniversary of the British encampment in the Camden County borough.
The 4th annual “Skirmish on Kings Highway,” to be held at the Indian King Tavern, 233 Kings Highway East, celebrates the history of Haddonfield while also commemorating the community’s rich Revolutionary War heritage. In addition to re-enactment activities, the Indian King Tavern will mark Service Appreciation Day in the borough by helping to honor members of the military, police, firefighters and ambulance responders. The free, family-friendly event will be held rain or shine.
“The annual skirmish in Haddonfield is a great opportunity for New Jersey residents to learn about our state’s rich American Revolutionary War history,” said Parks and Forestry Director Mark Texel. “From the re-enactments to the historically appropriate demonstrations and activities, this event promises fun for all."
Activities begin at 10 a.m. when the Second Pennsylvania Regiment, known as the Continentals and portraying the Colonialists, encamp at Indian King Tavern until encountering the First Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers, who will portray Loyalists. The Loyalists are also known as Red Coats.
“It’s a very exciting and fun way to interact with history,” said Joe Murphy, president of the Friends of the Indian King Tavern Museum. “It’s a tremendous event. Here, it’s done in a town setting that’s remarkably similar to what the town would have been like in 1777. That’s really special.”
At precisely 1 p.m., Loyalists will march down Kings Highway and encounter a regiment of Colonial patriots, where the first musket shot will be fired. The skirmish is expected to last about 30 minutes. Although the shots are theatrical, they are loud and visitors are advised to bring ear protection. Prior to the march, Loyalists will pillage, loot and maraud shops downtown, Murphy said.
Kings Highway will be closed for the skirmish, allowing plenty of sidewalk space for viewing and cheering.
Other events and craft-making activities are also planned. At 11 a.m., a presentation entitled “Marching Toward Monmouth” will explain how soldiers headed north through Haddonfield for battle during the Revolutionary War. At 2 p.m., children can muster like soldiers of the day with wooden muskets in front of Indian King Tavern. Tours of the tavern will be offered throughout the day, and re-enactors in character will be able to meet tavern visitors before and after the skirmish. There will also be spinning and basket weaving demonstrations, as well as a book signing.
Haddonfield – and the Indian King Tavern -- became important to the American Revolution because of the community’s critical location as a crossroads, according to the Historical Society of Haddonfield. In 1777, the New Jersey Assembly met in session at the Indian King Tavern and made two important decisions while there: the governing body declared New Jersey a state rather than a Colony, and it also adopted the Great Seal of the State of New Jersey. Also noteworthy, American and British troops both set up encampments in Haddonfield and marched through the community during various campaigns, according to the historical society. And, in 1903, the State bought the Indian King Tavern – New Jersey’s first historic site purchase.
To learn more about The Friends Of The Indiana King Tavern, visit: http://www.indiankingfriends.org/ or call (856) 429-6792.
To read more about Haddonfield’s history, visit: www.haddonfieldhistory.org