How do you take 400 years of an American story and encapsulate it into a two-day signature event? That's what is on tap this weekend in Plymouth, Massachusetts, as part of the "Plymouth 400" celebration.

Technically, the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth was last year, but COVID-19 prevented the town from properly commemorating. Now what was supposed to be weeks of events is now being condensed into this coming weekend.

"We began planning years and years ago," said Brian Logan, Communications Manager for Plymouth 400, Inc. "We wanted to tip our hat to the Mayflower voyage, the founding of Plymouth Colony that actually stretched to Dartmouth, the historic interaction between the Wampanoag and English peoples, and all set with a backdrop of beautiful Plymouth Harbor."

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Why did the Mayflower voyage end up in Plymouth, out of all the places in this part of the world? "I find it fascinating that the Pilgrims didn't initially choose Plymouth, the location probably chose them," said Logan, a Plymouth native.

Just a few years ago, visitors from all around the world came to see America's Hometown, "But where we stand now with the pandemic, we unfortunately won't see those pre-COVID, huge numbers this year. Still, we'll be welcoming smaller groups of people from far and wide, but not like what we had once planned for," Logan said.

Plymouth 400 is a two-day event, this Saturday, Sept. 4 and Sunday, Sept. 5.

"We hope to have a fantastic live event that's a fitting commemoration of the events of 1620, where we can pay respects to the Pilgrims and those who died during the voyage, pay respects to the Wampanoag people who were impacted by the arrival of the Pilgrims, and tip our hat to the maritime traditions of this community," Logan said.

In a way, Plymouth is like a microcosm for the American Experiment.

"Oh sure, I do see that this isn't just conjecture or storybook language, but it's truly an example of what could be," Logan said. "A lot of people ask what our aim is when we talk about not just the Pilgrims, but about the role the Wampanoag people had in the 1620 story, and some of the hard truths one must face when looking at the true history of it all."

"I often say, I don't think we're out there to change the world, but we at least we want to move the needle in terms of awareness of other cultures, in our case, the Wampanoag people. Plymouth has been aware of that for a long time, but we do look to spread the word nationwide and eventually worldwide," he said. It sounds almost like another voyage of sorts.

For more information and to see a listing of events for this weekend, visit plymouth400inc.org.

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