CHESTER, Va. (WRIC) — The muskets are firing at Henricus Historical Park. This site tucked away in Chester brings the New World’s second original English settlement to life. That includes the earlier military clothing, weaponry and tactics.
“We’re going to bring them back to the Old English and then bring them back to a point where America becomes the United States and how the United States starts to form its forces,” explains John Daniel Pagano, Director of Interpretation.
Pagano explains Saturday is Defenders of Virginia Day at Henricus. Through demonstrations, visitors will see how the military evolved in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
“Starting in 1611, this is where the military in North America really developed,” says Executive Director Charlie Grant.
Grant adds this special event also kicks off the park’s involvement in the Blue Star Museums Program, which offers military members and their families free admission all summer.
“In many respects, the military and the New World started at this place,” Grant gestures to the spot in which Thomas Dale settled so long ago.
“Nature, exercise, history,” Pagano describes what makes Henricus so appealing to visitors. “It’s all combined.”
Defenders of Virginia Day is Saturday, May 28 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road in Chester. Free hot dogs will be provided to all visitors. Admission is free for military members and their families with a valid i.d.
Henricus and two-thousand other historic sites will offer military members and their families free admission from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Follow this link for a complete list.