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Patriots Week commemorates Battle of Trenton and the American Revolution

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Up to 10,000 visitors are expected in Trenton for Patriots Week – a commemoration of the Battle of Trenton in 1776 – what is said to be the turning point of the American Revolutionary War.

“This is one of those big events that help keep our doors open,” says historical interpreter David Niescior. “Helps keep us in popular consciousness, helps keep us engaged with the community.”

After George Washington crossed the Delaware River Christmas night, Trenton’s Old Barracks was his target. Washington and his men were able to surprise and overwhelm the British troops and Hessian mercenaries who were stationed at the barracks.

“It was such a turning point for veterans who had been here. This was usually the defining point of the war for them,” says Niescior. “If they wanted to draw on Revolutionary memory, they usually mentioned the Battle of Trenton. That was the moment for them.”

A series of demonstrations, lectures and walking tours centered around the barracks are planned for the week. Tom Miller just moved back to New Jersey after 30 years in Tucson. He checked out a musket firing demonstration Thursday with his daughter and grandchildren.

“It's fun, especially the gunfire,” Miller says.

A full re-enactment of the Battle of Trenton is scheduled for Saturday. A full schedule of Patriots Week events can be found on Patriotsweek.com.

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