This year is the re-enactment of Washington crossing the Delaware will mark the 241st anniversary of the 1776 crossing.
The traditional re-enactment of George Washington crossing the Delaware River is still on for Christmas, but this Sunday is a scheduled rehearsal is canceled.
The reason: the Officials in Washington Crossing historical Park in Pennsylvania to say that the water level is just too low to ensure a safe passage for the general and his Continental Army soldiers — and the park is expensive replica boats.
“It is a disappointment, but we always have to err on the side of caution for the re-enactors and the public and for the maintenance of the equipment for the next few years,” Joseph Capone, told the Morning Call of Allentown, Pa.
Capone is executive director of the Friends of the Washington Crossing historical Park, the non-profit organization that partners with the Pennsylvania state government to run the park.
But if the region is not enough snow or rain for Christmas, then the “real” re-enactment of the crossing can be cancelled also John Godzieba, chief of the Langhorn Police Department, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Last year around this time there were replica Durham boats in the water in Washington Crossing historical Park, PA. Now, too shallow for boats or the floating dock. pic.twitter.com/zOyfPu3J6B
— roy clevenger (@roy18977) December 4, 2017
Godzieba played George Washington for over two decades, in the newspaper. Although the first president of America almost called off the first christmas night crossing in 1776 because of the bad weather, Godzieba said that he had never missed until now.
“It is a disappointment, not only for me but for all the re-enactors,” he told the Inquirer.
The re-enactment, a tradition for Pennsylvania and New Jersey since the 1950s, may not take place unless the level of the water is at least 9 meters above sea level, the Morning Call reported. But the prognosis is not enough rain on the way to increase the river level by Sunday.
Capone told Petitioner that the replica Durham boats used for the crossing are “expensive, hand-made artwork,” valued at about $ 150,000 each. So they risk is a bad idea.
“It is a 42-foot rowing boat that weighs two tons, empty,” he said.
Washington’s decision to cross the icy Delaware on christmas night in 1776 turned the tide of the revolution, the Inquirer reported, quoting historians. More than 2,400 soldiers crossed the river that night to surprise and capture of most of the Hessian troops during the Battle of Trenton which followed the crossing.
In all, the Continental Army won three fights during their mission, including the Battle of Princeton on Jan. 3, 1777, giving the United States a crucial victories needed in order to finally defeat the British and win the war in 1783, the Morning Call reported.
Godzieba told Petitioner that he believes what Christmas costume have been cancelled over the years as a result of the weather. The river runs too fast if there’s too much rain, but it is also impassable if there’s too much ice, he said.
But he added: “There is always hope.”
Although the Sunday’s river crossing has been canceled, other events planned in the run-up to the point where the re-enactors would board the boats — will continue for a while, the Morning Call reported.