Exciting US programme of virtual events and activities announced

Jun 08, 2020

Plymouth 400 - the US partner of Mayflower 400 - has been working closely with the Wampanoag tribes and other key partners to plan an exciting programme of virtual events and activities to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the voyage later this year.

Following current COVID-19 guidelines, the Massachusetts-based non-profit organisation has outlined its plan for Plymouth 400 Signature Events in 2020 and 2021, which includes marking the first Thanksgiving.

Transforming actual events into virtual ones and holding live displays next year will allow the commemoration to move forward, while also offering a unique opportunity for businesses to focus on welcoming visitors back in a safe way when the time is right.

While the situation could yet change, based on guidance from local and state officials, the full schedule for Plymouth 400 Signature Events is as follows:

Indigenous History Conference

29-30 October, 2020

The conference at Bridgewater State University is still scheduled as planned, but will ultimately be determined by COVID-19 guidelines in the coming months. Plans for a virtual conference are being considered as an alternative to gathering in person.

Illuminate Thanksgiving 2020

20-25 November, 2020

This annual tradition will be held as a virtual event featuring partners from the four key nations: the US, the UK, the Netherlands and the Wampanoag tribes.

Plymouth International Chorus, Plymouth UK and US public schools, One Small Candle award recipients, interviews, and performances will be included, while programming will be held during Thanksgiving week 2020, when NBC10 and PACTV will facilitate the production and broadcast the virtual event.

Depending upon public health data and guidelines at that time, some elements of Illuminate Thanksgiving - such as the Procession of Lights - may be held as a limited and appropriately distanced event.

Plymouth 400 Remembrance Ceremony

23 April, 2021

This ceremony will be held with visiting dignitaries and local and State officials to remember the Pilgrims and Wampanoag people of 1620 and their contributions and sacrifices.

The ceremony will take place at significant monuments in Plymouth, and details for this event are still being formed.

Wampanoag Ancestors Walk

May 2021

The walk originally scheduled for August of 2020, will be moved to May, 2021. Final date and details to come.

Official Maritime Salute to the 400th Anniversary

25-27 June, 2021

This large-scale Plymouth waterfront event, originally planned for 27-28 June of this year, has been moved to next year. An extra day has been added to include a 400th anniversary ceremony to kick off the weekend.

Cancelled events

While Plymouth 400 has managed to reschedule a number of key events, others have unfortunately been cancelled, with some elements being incorporated into other events. Cancelled events are as follows:

  • Plymouth 400 Commemoration Opening Ceremony - originally scheduled for 24 April, 2020.
  • Official State House Salute to the 400th Anniversary - originally scheduled for 14 September, 2020. This is, however, being considered for September 2021.
  • Embarkation Multicultural Festival - originally scheduled for 19 September 19, 2020.

Plymouth 400 Education Projects

Plymouth 400's planning has always been focused on education, legacy projects and awareness building, and many continue to take shape as 2020 unfolds including countless educational programmes focused on 17th century history. Initiatives include:

Plymouth 400 Online Educational Resources

Plymouth 400's deep and diverse network of organisational partners, business partners and committee members offer great educational resources to learn about 17th century history.

From fun activities for children and families to advanced reading materials for adults, there is something for everyone here.


This social media initiative launched in the spirit of Plymouth 400's Signature Event, 'Illuminate Thanksgiving', invites people to "give thanks, give back and let it shine".

This includes putting up white lights as a sign of hope and posting about what individuals are doing in this time of crisis that positively impacts others. More information here.

"OUR"Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History

This multimedia travelling museum exhibit is on hold until it can be safely displayed for public visitation and a virtual tour of "OUR"Story is in development.

The 1620 story cannot be told without the perspective of the indigenous people who were there as that ship arrived and who still remain. Many of the elements are described and documented here.

Massachusetts Chronicles

Following an extraordinary multi-year collaboration between Plymouth 400, Plymouth Public Schools and Bridgewater State University, this illustrated Massachusetts history book balances historic events in the State, including those of local Native American tribes.

The authors, Englishman Mark Skipworth and Mashpee Wampanoag Linda Coombs, wrote this first-of-its-kind manuscript which thoughtfully presents key perspectives on Massachusetts history.

The book has been published by What On Earth Books and is now available for pre-order through Amazon here. Books will be shipped this September and a Teacher’s Guide and Website are being designed.

Quadricentennial Park

Pilgrim Hall Museum and Plymouth 400 have partnered to build a park opposite Cole's Hill in the heart of historic downtown Plymouth.

The park's intention is to provide an outdoor interpretive experience in view of many of the key markers of 1620 history. Plans have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a required archaeological dig has moved to 2021, with anticipated building of the park in 2022.

Please note: This revised plan is based upon public health and safety plans that are in effect currently. Depending upon ongoing COVID-19 monitoring and State Guidelines. Plans are subject to change.

  • More information about Plymouth 400 Inc here.
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