Laurel Hill Cemetery will partner with 7textures, a local creative styling and event planning group, to bring the ghostly circus to life. Somewhere between the clouds, the tombs, and Dante's rings, the artists will evoke and encompass the spirit of Laurel Hill with a dance on fire and in the air. This unique, other-worldly show will include fire dancing, aerial performers, a theatrical sideshow, and a "Dance with the Dead" afterparty. Bring your own blankets or beach chairs to enjoy this evening under the stars.
Presented in conjunction with the Barnes Foundation, this unique walking tour will explore the art and aesthetics of historic Laurel Hill. Participants will be encouraged to look beyond surnames, dates, history and symbolism, and focus instead on the designed landscape as an aesthetic statement. Join tour guide Ross Mitchell, director of Barnes-de Mazia Education and Outreach Programs, on an exploration of the art found within the cemetery's most incredible architecture, monuments and mausoleums.
The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was founded in April, 1866 and quickly became among the largest veterans' organization in US history. The group instituted Memorial Day (Decoration Day), supported voting rights for African American veterans, and developed into a formidable force for veterans' pensions, patriotism, and the interpretation of Civil War history. Laurel Hill contains the graves of many founders and men killed in action, whom GAR Posts were named after. This commemorative walking tour and exhibit opening marks the 150th anniversary of the organization's founding.
On this walking tour through Laurel Hill's historic tombs, discover ancient symbols and architectural styles that have survived since the time of the pharaohs. Along the way, meet the individuals who revered such symbols enough to eternally memorialize them: like a former defamed Egyptologist, the founder of the Penn Museum of Archaeology, and even Indiana Jones. Afterward, sip on the drink of the Gods and enjoy Mediterranean-inspired fare in the Cemetery's historic Gatehouse.
The General Meade Society of Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery, is calling volunteers to assist in preparing for the nation's Memorial Day commemoration. Those assembled will be assigned to place American flags on the gravesites of veterans who served in the country's various conflicts. As time and manpower permit, and in addition to Laurel Hill, cemeteries covered may include Mount Moriah, Mount Peace and St. James the Less
There are many ways to learn about and enjoy the wonders of Laurel Hill. This tour of discovery incorporates a "history hunt" designed specifically for families to work together as teams on a guided hike. The program begins at Laurel Hill's historic gatehouse where participants will create personalized journals filled with clues, riddles, maps and more. Then they'll head outdoors to explore the oldest section of the cemetery following the clues from the journals.
Towering above the unexpectedly humble gravesite of General George G. Meade, victor of Gettysburg, is a giant of a tree. Believed to have been planted in 1852 for the Honorable John Sergeant - Meade's father-in-law, a Congressman, and founding member of the Whig Party - it was still a modest tree in 1872 when the General was interred in the Sergeant lot. In the ensuing 164 years, the Norway Maple sheltered countless visitors, war heroes, and dignitaries, including Presidents Grant, Hayes, and Harrison. Though the tree has survived decades longer than expected, it has reached the end of its natural lifespan. The affectionately named "Meade Witness Tree" will be professionally removed by the Cemetery's arborists John B. Ward & Co on Saturday, May 28. Following the removal will be a public ceremony and reception hosted by The General Meade Society of Philadelphia to mark the occasion.
The traditional Decoration Day service of the Grand Army Meade Post #1 will be recreated at Laurel Hill, the site of the first Memorial Day Observance in Philadelphia in 1868. The entourage will gather at the resting place of General Meade, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg, to perform the traditional service honoring all veterans who fell defending the nation. A wreath-laying, speeches and honor guards will enhance the ceremony.