Lafayette Day celebrated July 29 at Thornbury Farm

Free family event has music, food and activities plus material on America's hero, Lafayette

June 28, 2023

  Lafayette Day festivities begin bicentennial celebration

 of America’s hero in Chester, Delaware counties on July 29

Thornbury Farm hosts event for whole family with music, food, children activities

          THORNBURY _ Lafayette, the young Frenchman who risked his life, his fortune and the wrath of his king to fight for American independence and freedom, is being celebrated on July 29 at Thornbury Farm.

“Lafayette Day is the kickoff of our local celebration of Lafayette’s grand tour of the United States in 1824 and 1825,” said Bruce E. Mowday, chair of the Lafayette Bicentennial Brandywine Committee. “Lafayette sacrificed so much for our freedom during the American Revolution. He began his journey to becoming an American hero at the battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, when he was wounded on Birmingham Hill.”

Randell Spackman of Thornbury Farms is hosting the free-family event at his farm, 1256 Thornbury Road, West Chester, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. In addition to Lafayette displays, the day will include food, music, a Heritage Walk and activities for children. The Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard will mark the beginning of the celebration.

“The American Friends of Lafayette, a great national association, is organizing a grand 13-month celebration across the 24 states Lafayette visited during his trip,” Mowday said. “A goal of the national celebration is to bring Lafayette and his deeds alive to today’s citizens.”

During Lafayette Day, a Heritage Walk will take place from Thornbury Farms, location of some of the fiercest fighting during the battle of Brandywine, to Birmingham Hill, where Lafayette was wounded.

Visitors will be able to gain knowledge from representatives of the American Friends of Lafayette, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, the Masons, the Chris Sanderson Museum, Brandywine Battlefield Park, Chester and Delaware counties 250th committees and other organizations.

“I was so pleased with the enthusiasm for this event,” Mowday said. “Elected officials from both Chester and Delaware counties, including Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline and Elaine Paul Schaefer of Delaware County Council, will be on hand. Also, Cuyler Walker, chair of the Brandywine Conservancy will take part. The conservancy preserved the location of the battlefield where Lafayette was wounded.”

Lafayette in Art and Literature will be featured. Chadds Ford artist Shay Aubrey Allen will be signing copies of Lafayette: America’s Young Hero & Guest. Allen created original drawings for the book. Mowday, who authored the book with American Friends of Lafayette President Alan R. Hoffman, will also be signing the books. Also, Mowday will talk about his Lafayette at Brandywine: The Making of an American Hero. Downingtown artist Adrian Martinez will make an appearance. Martinez’s painting of Lafayette was featured on the cover of Mowday’s book. Chadds Ford artist Karl J. Kuerner will take part. Kuerner’s new painting Lafayette’s Sword, will be discussed. Kuerner and Mowday combined for their second book, Emotional Brandywine. The book is to be released on the anniversary of the battle of Brandywine. Kuerner and Mowday’s first book was Emotional Gettysburg.

An announcement of an essay contest on Lafayette will be made. The contest, sponsored by the Lafayette Bicentennial Brandywine Committee, will be open to all students in Chester and Delaware counties. Winners will receive Lafayette Challenge Coins authorized by the American Friends of Lafayette.

“During Lafayette Day, we are seeking volunteers and support for our celebration,” Mowday said. “The Lafayette celebration will take many volunteers and some financial assistance. A portion of the profits of Lafayette: America’s Young Hero & Guest is being donated to the American Friends of Lafayette for the bicentennial celebration. During Lafayette Day, American Friends of Lafayette clothing and other items will be offered for sale.”

On August 16, 2024, The American Friends of Lafayette begin the national celebration in New York City. Hundreds of events are planned during the next 13 months, tracing the footsteps of Lafayette on his tour of America as the “Guest of the Nation” in the exact order he traveled. For additional information, see

Lafayette visited Chester for a grand dinner on October 5, 1824. Delaware County is planning an event to mark the occasion on Saturday, October 5, 2024. Lafayette visited Chadds Ford and the location of the battle of Brandywine on July 26, 1825, and had dinner in West Chester that evening. Events are being planned for July 26, 2025. Lafayette departed Chester County for Lancaster County on July 27, 1825. For information on upcoming events, see the Facebook page Lafayette Bicentennial Brandywine Committee page.

The Lafayette Bicentennial Brandywine Committee invites the community to attend, have fun and receive information on Lafayette, an American hero.