Massachusetts is inviting the world to visit the Bay State in 2020 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony, two historic events that helped shape the United States of America.
The state’s Plymouth 400 Commission has created a series of signature events to explore the historical significance of the English Pilgrims who landed in Plymouth in 1620, and their early interactions with the Native American Wampanoag people already living here. The events will show case Massachusetts’ vibrant culture, cuisine, history and natural beauty.
MOTT Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall said, “Massachusetts has been inspiring travelers for four centuries. In 2020, we welcome the occasion to highlight Massachusetts at its best, from the shores of Cape Cod to the hills of Aquinnah Cliffs in Martha’s Vineyard, from Plymouth Bay and Boston Harbor to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. We invite visitors from all over the world to Massachusetts, where America as we know it was founded.”
Activities planned in 2020 include: the official Plymouth 400 opening ceremony in Plymouth, the sailing of the Mayflower to Boston, Provincetown and Plymouth; a maritime festival hosted by Mayflower Sails 2020 in Boston Harbor alongside the USS Constitution and Mayflower; a homecoming festival in Plymouth with visiting ships and maritime activities; the Wampanoag Ancestors Walk; and events centered around the Thanksgiving holiday in November 2020, according to Plymouth 400 Commission Chair Dusty Rhodes.
Plymouth 400, Inc. Executive Director Michele Pecoraro said, “Plymouth Colony’s history is America’s Founding Story. Our goals are to portray a true and balanced history of the Pilgrims and Wampanoag people, while attracting visitors to Massachusetts and supporting the local economy. Our media partners are contributing to these goals, especially NBC10, Telemundo, NECN and Gate House Media.”
Executive Director Ellie Donovan of Plimoth Plantation, which just completed a three-year, $11.2 million restoration of the historic wooden sailing ship Mayflower, said, “The restoration of this national treasure is an incredibly exciting and significant milestone. We look forward to celebrating her return home to Massachusetts and welcoming visitors on board in 2020 and beyond.”
An exhibit entitled “Our” Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History, is traveling around Massachusetts and New England in 2020. The moving exhibit is on display around New England throughout 2020.
Jim Peters, executive director of the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs and a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, said the “Our” Story exhibit “is an important reflection on our shared history. It offers an appropriate opportunity to assess our past and present and to envision what we are leaving for our future generations.”
The Plymouth 400 commemoration has an international dimension. In addition to the United States and Wampanoag Nation, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands are also participating by sending official delegations to Massachusetts.
See Plymouth Executive Director Lea Filson described Plymouth as “America’s Hometown, and the rock upon which America was built 400 years ago. To feel and experience the authentic place where the Mayflower Pilgrims settled, visit Plymouth, where history, culture, great restaurants and a scenic New England town will welcome you.”
For information about visiting Massachusetts, go to massvacation.com.