For Immediate Release
Contact: Sloane Wilton
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BOSTON – On December 16, 2023, Revolutionary Spaces is commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party with a reenactment of the Meeting of the Body of the People at Old South Meeting House—the very room where the historic protest against taxation without representation was ignited. Attendees will watch as living historians reprise the debate that led to the destruction of tea and immerse themselves in this pivotal moment in our nation’s history by taking on the roles of famous Bostonians. Tickets are limited, and demand is high during this anniversary year. Tickets are on sale to the public as of October 23 until the reenactment date, while tickets last.
“Attendees will experience the vigorous discourse that incited the Boston Tea Party just as it unfolded for the people in the pews on December 16, 1773,” said Revolutionary Spaces President & CEO Nathaniel Sheidley. “We’re honored to engage Old South Meeting House, the birthplace of protest in America, to perform the events of that fateful day. The societal conditions and concerns by which the Revolutionary era was characterized contextualize the procession to the waterfront 250 years ago, the inspiration behind the First Amendment, and our nation’s spirit ever since.”
As the largest indoor gathering space in colonial Boston, the Old South Meeting House hosted a number of meetings about what to do with the East India Tea Company tea sitting in Boston Harbor waiting to be unloaded and taxed. On December 16, 1773, a purported 5,000 men gathered for this final meeting about the controversial tea tax, resulting in Samuel Adams giving the signal that would start the Boston Tea Party. Frustrated and angry, colonists marched to Griffin’s Wharf and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor—a major act of defiance to British rule over the colonists and a spark for the American Revolution.
This event is made possible by Boston Tea Party 250th Anniversary Commemoration Transformational Partner Meet Boston.
Photos from the 249th Anniversary Reenactment here.
Doors open at 5:30 PM and the reenactment begins at 6:15pm. Following the reenactment, guests may proceed to Griffin’s Wharf to watch Boston Tea Party Ships and Museums’ reenactment of the throwing of the tea into the harbor. Seating for the Meeting of the Body of the People reenactment at Old South Meeting House is unassigned, and ticket holders may stay in their seats following the reenactment for a livestream of the tea throwing at Griffin’s Wharf. Tickets also include free admission to both of Revolutionary Spaces’ sites, the Old State House and Old South Meeting House, from December 15 through December 17, including their newest exhibit, Impassioned Destruction: Politics, Vandalism, and the Boston Tea Party. Visit revolutionaryspaces.org for operating hours.
NOTE: Due to higher attendance anticipated in this anniversary year, seating at Griffin’s Wharf is not guaranteed for ticket holders of the Meeting of the Body of the People reenactment.
Seniors (65 and older): $30
Youth (13-18): $30
Children (12 and under): $20
Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more people, applied automatically at checkout.
ABOUT REVOLUTIONARY SPACES
Revolutionary Spaces stewards the historic Old South Meeting House and Old State House as landmarks, museums, and gathering spaces for the open exchange of ideas and the continuing practice of democracy. Viewing history as a powerful tool for today, Revolutionary Spaces brings people together to explore the American struggle to create and sustain a free society.
ABOUT THE OLD STATE HOUSE
The 1713 Old State House served as the seat of government for the province of Massachusetts during the Revolutionary era. Today, it is a museum and historic site offering tours, exhibits, and public programs exploring Boston’s Revolutionary-era history.
ABOUT OLD SOUTH MEETING HOUSE
The 1729 Old South Meeting House was a Congregational church and the largest gathering place for popular politics in Revolutionary Boston. Today it is a busy museum, treasured landmark, and active center for civic dialogue and free expression.
ABOUT THE BOSTON TEA PARTY
In 1773, the Old South Meeting House hosted a number of meetings about what to do with the East India Tea Company tea sitting in Boston Harbor waiting to be unloaded and taxed. On December 16, 1773, the final meeting at Old South would serve as the start of the Boston Tea Party. Over 5,000 men debated the controversial tea tax – resulting in Samuel Adams giving the signal that would start the Boston Tea Party. Frustrated and angry, colonists marched to Griffin’s Wharf and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor – a major act of defiance to British rule over the colonists and a spark for the American Revolution.
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