The centerpiece of a weeklong series of events and programs will be the Presidential Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Jackson’s tomb Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. Ret. Gen. Keith Huber and Andrew Jackson VI will place the presidential wreath on Jackson’s grave accompanied by the Tennessee Army National Guard. Guests can attend the ceremony, listen to a patriotic music concert and experience a military flyover of the site.
The 250th birthday celebration will extend from Sunday through March 18, beginning with a birthday cake contest and craft beer festival and will conclude with a two-day War of 1812 military encampment at the Hermitage. Throughout the week, friends and families can engage with and learn about Jackson’s life, meet five of his preceding presidents, help decorate the hickory pole, watch horse racing and experience the War of 1812 Campfire Tour.
“This is an important time to know the Andrew Jackson story, to understand why the past is prologue to today’s issues and to go beyond the shorthand you see in much of the contemporary discussion,” said Howard Kittell, CEO of Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. “With the birthday week celebration, we’ve added new programming and features to bring that story to life.”
On Saturday from 1-5 p.m., patrons will be able to listen to live music, enjoy unlimited craft beer, taste a variety of birthday cakes and try food from some of Nashville’s favorite food trucks. During the celebration, a panel of celebrity judges, including Wells Adams from ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” Danielle Maltby from ABC’s “The Bachelor,” owners of Five Daughters Bakery Isaac and Stephanie Meek, Steve Hayslip from NewsChannel 5 and former Titans receiver Chris Sanders will pick their favorite cake from local entries to serve as the official cake of Andrew Jackson’s 250th birthday. NewsChannel 5’s Rhori Johnston will emcee the competition. All tickets for the 21-and-older event come with a commemorative 250th birthday tasting glass.
To find out more, visit thehermitage.com/event/birthday-brew-festival.
On Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., it marks Jackson’s birth date. The event will be packed with festive activities all day. Start the day with the debut of the introductory film “Jackson” and tour the renovated theater. The day’s activities include a wreath laying on Jackson’s tomb, a Tennessee National Guard concert, book signing by Judge Andrew Jackson VI, hickory pole racing, chocolate sampling and more. To find out more, visit thehermitage.com/event/president-jacksons-250th-birthday-celebration/2017-03-15.
On March 16, there will be a Jackson education day from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The morning-to-afternoon event is specifically designed for K–12 audiences. Students and chaperones will be able to hear from Jackson and some of his presidential peers. They will also get to do hands-on activities like decorating wreaths to commemorate Jackson and making their own shakos, the tall helmets worn by soldiers during the War of 1812. To find out more, visit thehermitage.com/event/jackson-education-day/2017-03-16.
Also on March 16, an Evening with Five Presidents will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Come hear from presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Monroe and Jackson about their experiences in office at the Hermitage’s newly renovated theater. A reception will follow. To find out more, visit thehermitage.com/event/an-evening-with-five-presidents.
On March 17-18 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., the War of 1812 Military Encampment will feature more than costumed interpreters as they recreate a military encampment from the War of 1812. Talk to men and women about the militia and experience a drilling practice.
For more information, visit thehermitage.com.