Launch of MAYFLOWER II
Plimoth Plantation, Mystic Seaport Museum, dignitaries and the ship’s restoration team present the official launch and re-commissioning of Mayflower II in an exciting public event. The ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m., includes performances, remarks, and the ship’s christening with water from all 50 states as well as Plymouth, U.K., and Leiden, Netherlands, before Mayflower II is lowered into the Mystic River to float for the first time in nearly three years. Once she returns to Massachusetts in spring 2020, the ship will be the centerpiece of the 400th commemoration of the Pilgrims’ arrival to historic Patuxet, now known as Plymouth.
The ceremony will be hosted by Jared Bowen, WGBH Boston’s Executive Arts Editor, and will feature:
- performances by the United States Coast Guard Band, Gilly Assunçao, and Justin Gigliello
- an invocation by Reverend Anne Robertson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bible Society, and Kerri Helme, of Plimoth Plantation’s leadership team and the Mashpee Wampanoag nation
- a keynote by Nathaniel Philbrick, bestselling author of Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
- and, the christening of the ship by Harriet Cross, British Consul General to New England.
The event is included with admission to Mystic Seaport Museum. Admission is free for Mystic Seaport Museum members. Please note the viewing area is standing room only. Lawn chairs, blankets, coolers, and large bags will not be permitted.
Following the launch, Mayflower II will spend the winter at Mystic Seaport Museum preparing for a May 2020 departure. The newly restored ship will make her debut in Boston from May 14 to May 19, 2020, for Mayflower Sails 2020, a free maritime festival at the Charlestown Navy Yard (details at www.mayflowersails2020.com), followed by her long-awaited homecoming to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on May 21, 2020.