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Organizations in Boston and Across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Working Together to Create a Year of Dynamic Programming to Honor the Semiquincentennial of the Boston Tea Party
The 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, the “single most important event leading up to the American Revolution,” will occur on Saturday, December 16, 2023. Boston will not only be the FIRST to mark the 250th anniversary of a landmark historic event in the United States journey to independence and the founding of a free nation, but also will be the epicenter, and on the world’s stage, in honoring the anniversary of the historic event that is the Boston Tea Party.
“The Boston Tea Party helped spark the Revolutionary War and is one of the earliest milestones on the path to our nation’s founding,” says Rosie Rios, Chair of the United States Semiquincentennial Commission. “It was a dramatic demonstration of the colonists’ willingness to fight for truths they knew to be self-evident — that we all have the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As we approach the nation’s semiquincentennial — the 250th commemoration of when our leaders firmly established those beliefs through the Declaration of Independence — it is crucial that we recognize the vital role the Boston Tea Party played in shaping the America we know today.”
Boston will be in the spotlight in honoring this historic event officially launching a commemorative year of celebrations today and will be leading the way as America begins to celebrate all major historic 250th anniversaries leading up to 2026, the semiquincentennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the United States of America.
A multitude of organizations across Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are working together to create a commemorative year of public engagement, dynamic programming, special exhibits, events, installations, and performances. The year will culminate in a grand-scale, live reenactment of the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 2023, slated to be one of the largest theatrical moving performances in the United States.
An overview of current initiatives as part of the 250th Boston Tea Party Anniversary Commemorative Year:
National and Regional Collection of Loose Tea – Beginning December 16, 2022
Today marks the commencement of a tea donation drive where citizens of the United States can participate by sending loose-leaf tea to Boston to be thrown into Boston Harbor as part of the 250th Boston Tea Party Anniversary Reenactment.
Send dried loose-leaf tea (NO used tea bags) to: Boston Tea Party 250th Anniversary, Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, 306 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210. Include name, address, e-mail & phone number. An official certificate of participation will be sent to each person donating tea.
Deadline to send tea: December 1, 2023.
In addition, a newly launched Historic Tours of America trolley, fully wrapped depicting the Eleanor, one of the three ships that were part of the Boston Tea Party, will be launching a tour of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts beginning in Spring 2023 to collect loose-leaf tea from citizens across the state. This schedule will be announced in early 2023.
First Night Boston 2023 – December 31, 2022
First Night is Boston’s annual and free New Year’s Eve celebration of musical performances, a “People’s Procession” parade, ice sculptures, and fireworks celebrating the beginning of a new year. This year, First Night will honor the Boston Tea Party. Featured ice sculptures throughout Boston will salute this historic event, Colonial actors will be leading the “People’s Procession” and much more.
250th Anniversary Boston Tea Party NEW “Tea Talks” Speaker Series 2023
A NEW “Tea Talks” Speaker Series honoring the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party will be launching in 2023 exploring many different facets of life in early Boston, New England, and Colonial America through expert storytellers from nationally renowned authors and tea masters to historians and cultural experts etc. More details to be announced in early 2023.
NEW Boston Tea Party Descendants Program
A NEW Boston Tea Party Descendants program will be launching in 2023 in partnership with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the country’s leading resource for historical family research, fostering genealogical connections to participants in the Boston Tea Party, their families, and those involved in the making of colonial rebellion in Boston. The program will not only connect people to their shared histories, but also serve as a hub of information and shared resources for local, national, and international historians, indefinitely. More details to be announced in early 2023.
41st Boston Harborfest – June 29 – July 4, 2023
Boston Harborfest is the country’s largest Fourth of July festival. During the 41st Harborfest in 2023, the Boston Tea Party will be the featured theme as Boston celebrates its historic harbor and history. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, dedicated to accurately reliving and representing a key time in history (1773-1775), will be offering a series of hands-on activities & interactive performances throughout Harborfest.
Boston Tea Party Participant Grave Marker Project
The Boston Tea Party Grave Marker Project, which began in 2019, marks the final resting places of many of the brave people involved in the “single most important event leading up to the American Revolution” with a commemorative marker inspired by Nathaniel Currier’s The Destruction of the Tea at Boston Harbor lithograph created in 1846, a popular and often used artistic representation of the Boston Tea Party. ALL known participants will receive markers by the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. To date, a total of 119 commemorative markers have been placed at graves of known Boston Tea Party participants buried within some of New England’s oldest burying grounds. In 2023, the grave markers will be placed at the gravesites of Boston Tea Party patriots in MI, NY, OH, PA, VA and as far away as Paris, France. The markers will be on display indefinitely. The FINAL honorary commemorative marker will be placed in Boston at the grave of Patriot Samuel Adams in the Granary Burying Ground in 2023 (date TBA).
Engaging Students Throughout Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Throughout the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party’s commemorative year, students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are invited to express their personal thoughts and connections to the themes centered around the ideas of the Boston Tea Party — protest, civic engagement, representation and commemoration — through creative writing projects, videography, or artistic design. The goal is to not only educate students on the iconic events that helped shape America, but also allow them to connect these ideals to their own lives.
Their creative pieces will be showcased on www.bostonteaparty250.com. More details are to be announced in early 2023.
Boston Area Hotels, Restaurant and Bars to Honor the Boston Tea Party
Throughout 2023, Boston area hotels, restaurants and bars will be offering a dose of patriotism with hotel packages, tea-inspired cocktails, and dinners in honor of 250th Anniversary of The Boston Tea Party. More details to be announced in 2023.
Honoring 18th-Century Poet Phillis Wheatley
Former enslaved person and American author, Phillis Wheatley, is one of the best-known poets in late-18th-century America. Considered the first African American and only the third American woman author of a published book of poetry, she will be honored with a special exhibition; and a major announcement will be made in 2023 around her connection to the Boston Tea Party. More details will be announced in 2023.
East India Company – London, England – September 2023
A series of events in partnership with the East India Company, founded in 1600 and still in existence from where the tea came that was originally destroyed during the Boston Tea Party, celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party will be taking place in London in September 2023. The East India Company will also be shipping to Boston 250 pounds of loose tea to be thrown into Boston Harbor as part of the 250th Boston Tea Party Anniversary reenactment.
250th Boston Tea Party Anniversary LIVE Reenactment – Saturday, December 16, 2023
The 250th anniversary year will culminate in a grand-scale, live reenactment of the Boston Tea Party on Saturday, December 16, 2023, the actual anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. Hundreds of reenactors will tell the story of the infamous Boston Tea Party and theatrically recreate the events of December 16, 1773 at historic Old South Meeting House and Faneuil Hall with a series of performances and programming, followed by a public procession to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum where the Sons of Liberty will destroy loose tea, 250 pounds of tea sent to Boston from London’s East India Company in addition to tea sent in from citizens from around the country, into Boston’s historic harbor.
Information on the 250th Boston Tea Party Anniversary commemorative year, in addition to updates on all events and programming throughout the year, will be available at www.BostonTeaParty250.com, and on social media channels: Instagram/Facebook: @bostonteaparty250; Twitter: @BOSTeaParty250.
December 16, 2022