American Thanksgiving DayToday is the American Thanksgiving Day, which has strong ties with Plymouth. Plymouth is home to the Mayflower Steps from where the Pilgrim Fathers left England aboard the Mayflower to cross the Atlantic Ocean to settle in North America on 6 September 1620.

To celebrate two ceremonies will be held to mark Thanksgiving Day this year:

Guildhall flagpole and Barbican Mayflower Steps – Thursday 24 November 2011 from 11.30am to 1pm

Two ceremonies have been organised by American citizens living in Plymouth to mark American Thanksgiving which will be attended by the Lord Mayor, Lady Mayoress and local Councillors. Everyone is welcome!

Flag raising ceremony at the Guildhall

  • 11:15am: Pipers from the City of Plymouth Pipe Band performing
  • 11:30am: Pipers call assembly to order
  • 11.35am: Raising of the United Kingdom and American national flags
  • 11.40am: Guests depart and make their way down to the Mayflower Steps
  • 12 noon: Guests assemble at Mayflower Steps

Thanksgiving ceremony at the Mayflower Steps

  • 12.15pm: Pipers from the City of Plymouth Pipe Band perform
  • 12.30pm: The Town Crier announces start of ceremony
  • 12:32pm: Elizabeth Saunders welcomes all Americans and guests
  • 12.35pm: Speech by Councillor Chris Penberthy
  • 12:40pm: Speech by Councillor Chaz Singh
  • 12.45pm: The Lord Mayor speaks and lays a commemoration wreath
  • 12.48pm: Gary Platts performs the Star Spangled Banner
  • 12:55pm: Town Crier to end the ceremony

American citizens will get free entry to the Mayflower heritage exhibition in
the Barbican Tourist Information Centre. The Elizabethan house is also open from 2pm to 4pm (entry charge applies).

The historic Dominican Refectory, used by the pilgrims and now part of the Plymouth Gin Distillery, is open to the public from 11am to 11pm.

Plymouth Discovery Tours are running a Thanksgiving special with historic bus tours leaving the Mayflower Steps at 1pm and 2.30pm (£4.40 per person).

Visit the Thanksgiving in Plymouth website for more details.

Source: Plymouth City Council