SOMERVILLE – In its annual tradition, the City of Somerville will kick off the New Year on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, with a reenactment ceremony for the anniversary of the “Grand Union” flag-raising ceremony at Prospect Hill Park. Important note: the park is currently closed for renovations, so the event will be held along Munroe St. adjacent to the park. The road will be closed during the morning events. A processional led by a re-enactor portraying General George Washington on horseback will leave from the City Hall Concourse at 11:30 a.m., followed by a ceremony at Prospect Hill Park. As always, members of the public are invited to participate, and are encouraged to wear traditional colonial clothing.
The annual ceremony commemorates the raising of the nation’s first official flag, featuring thirteen red and white horizontal stripes, atop Prospect Hill on New Year’s Day, 1776. At the time, Prospect Hill was a key site in a string of fortifications created by Washington and the Continental Army in their siege of British troops in Boston during the first year of the American Revolution.
The afternoon’s program will include songs, and remarks by participants from the Charlestown and Rhode Island Militia, and the Ancient and Honorable Company (first chartered in 1638). His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot, representing the British Army, will bring a message from King George III, and the American Legion Post 19 Honor Guard will lead a military salute as a commemorative flag is raised atop the Prospect Hill Tower.
Light refreshments will be served, and miniature replicas of the Grand Union Flag, both as a flag and a lapel pin, as well as colonial-era tri corner hats and a few items highlighting the City’s historic assets will be available for purchase. The Tower will also be open to the public following the ceremony.
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or NSalamoun@somervillema.gov.