The Huguenot & New Rochelle Historical Association, the Thomas Paine National Historical Association, and the Thomas Paine Memorial Association have announced the 2022 Thomas Paine Festival, honoring the legacy of one of America’s most iconic founding fathers, has been set for June 16th through 18th in New Rochelle, Westchester County, NY.
The Festival will inaugurate the newly named Thomas Paine New Rochelle Center featuring the unique historical sites adjacent to one another on North Avenue in New Rochelle – the Thomas Paine Cottage Museum (est. 1784), the Thomas Paine Monument (est. 1839), and the Thomas Paine Memorial Building (est. 1925).
On Thursday, June 16th, organizers will host a Colonial Tavern Night offering food, drinks, and music of the era by Erik and Eliza Lichack on the grounds of the Cottage Museum (20 Sicard Avenue) starting at 5:30 pm. The Museum and Building will be open with many new exhibits.
Friday, June 17th events will begin at 10 am with a Symposium at the Thomas Paine Memorial Building (983 North Avenue), featuring presentation about Paine’s life, works, and legacy. The Symposium, open to the public, will bring together scholars to prepare the way for increased national recognition of Paine’s role in the American and French Revolutions and the spread of democratic ideals globally.
Members of the Editorial Board of the Thomas Paine Collected Works Project will conduct a panel discussion about the project, closing out the Symposium around 2:30 pm. At 3 pm, the Iona College Ryan Library (715 North Avenue) will host a viewing of Thomas Paine-themed artifacts, including original documents and his writing kit.
A reception and dinner theater will round out Friday’s festivities, starting at 6:30 pm at the Greentree Country Club (538 Davenport Avenue). Actor Ian Ruskin will be presenting his one-man play, To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine.
The program on Saturday, June 18th will begin with a ribbon-cutting and wreath-laying ceremony at 11 am (near the Thomas Paine Monument, gravesite, and Memorial Building). Speakers and special guests will include Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Mayor Noam Bramson, City Councilperson Sara Kaye, State Senator Shelley Mayer, State Assemblyperson Amy Paulin, New Rochelle City Historian Barbara Davis, New Rochelle author Linda Tarrant-Reid, and the President of Revolutionary Westchester 250, Constance Kehoe.
On Saturday afternoon, families are invited to a Colonial Fair from 11 am to 5 pm (Thomas Paine Cottage, 20 Sicard Avenue) with historical reenactments, music of the colonial period, family-centered entertainment, lawn games, a Juneteenth recognition of Paine’s opposition to slavery, educational opportunities. The day will end with musical selections from the pre-Broadway show “The Crossing and the Ten Crucial Days”
A co-organizer of the Festival, the Thomas Paine Memorial Association, will be providing educational materials about the bill in the US Congress to authorize a statue of Paine in the nation’s capital. A message from Congressman Jamie Raskin, the principal sponsor, will be shown at the Thomas Paine Memorial Building (983 North Avenue) at 12:30 pm. The commissioned sculptor for the Washington, D.C. statue, Zenos Frudakis, will speak on Saturday at 2 pm inside the Thomas Paine Memorial Building (983 North Avenue).
For more information or to register, click here.