Presidents’ Day was first celebrated in 1885 to recognize President George Washington, and was originally recognized on February 22, Washington’s birthday. This year, we’ll celebrate on Monday, February 17th. Why the date change you ask? It’s called the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill, which was passed by Congress in 1968 in an effort to provide more three day weekends for workers. So what’s the best way to celebrate this holiday weekend? We’ve rounding a few ideas that will not only pay homage to the Presidents, but are fun too!
1. Hit the stores
Retailers nationwide run various specials on Presidents’ Day, and what better way to be reminded of our nation’s past leaders than by looking at their faces on money all day? In fact, you might even see cutbacks steeper than Black Friday sales. Many stores are looking to offload winter inventory. Just remember to thank George Washington when you load up your bags.
2. Host a Presidents Day Party
It will be easy to re-use some of your Fourth of July décor for a President themed party. Or you could even make it costume themed. Suggest your guests come dressed up as their favorite president and count how many Abraham Lincoln’s show up! If you have the time, conduct a little research on lesser known facts about the Presidents and have a trivia night, complete with President themed prizes. Who doesn’t need a powdered wig? Don’t forget to make the cherry pie!
3. Head to a Historical State
Virginia is a great place to visit for historical fun. Alexandria hosts the largest George Washington Birthday Parade in the United States, as well as the Cherry Challenge, where local restaurants compete for the best cherry themed dish. Or, travel to Mount Vernon, Washington’s home. Lucky for you, admission is free on the actual holiday. Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, is also in Virginia, and worth a trip to check out. And a trip to Virginia can’t be complete without a visit to Williamsburg. Experience the town as it would have been during Colonial times and celebrate with activities, performances and a variety of other Presidential events.
4. Brush Up on your Presidential History
Use your day off to exercise your brain. Head to your public library, a government funded organization, and check out an autobiography on one of our 43 presidents. If you’d rather have a virtual experience, C-Span has a series on their website entitled “American Presidents” that’s worth your time. If you’re a movie buff, there are plenty of recent films with a Presidential focus. Be sure to add “Lincoln,” “Air Force One,” and “The American President” to your must-watch list.
No matter what you decide to do on your long holiday weekend, take a moment to remember the past leaders who have served our country, and enjoy the extra day in your weekend.