Arts & Culture

This Weekend Is Liberty Weekend

Liberty Pole on the left, New Utrecht Church in the middle and parish house to the right.

There are many events happening this weekend, but this one should be on your Brooklyn bucket list. It is free, is for everyone, and you will learn a bit about Brooklyn history. So come on down, rain or shine, to the New Utrecht Church in Bensonhurst.

There will be Revolutionary War re-enactors, historical displays, a lecture on “Washington’s Spies in the Revolution”, tours of the historic 1828 church, ceremonies at the Liberty Pole and a tour of the Old New Utrecht Cemetery. There will be a bake sale to benefit the Church restoration fund.

Saturday, June 3

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11:45am – 1:15pm Tour of the Old New Utrecht Cemetery. Liberty Weekend is the only time during the year that this historic site is open to the public. David Elligers, president of the Friends of Historic New Utrecht — which is dedicated to the preservation of local historic sites — will share the stories.

Old New Utrecht
Unlike other landmarked cemeteries in New York City, Old New Utrecht is not open to the public and has no paid groundskeepers.

Entrance on the 85th Street, East of 16th Avenue. The cemetery is the final resting place for Cropsey, Stillwell, Van Brunt, Ditmars (Ditmas), Courtelyou, Nostrand, and Emmans (Emmons) families, who once owned farms in the town of New Utrecht, current day Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Borough Park, Bath Beach, and Bay Ridge.

11:00am – 4:00pm on the Church grounds:

  • “The Black Watch”, The 42nd Royal Highland regiment which served throughout the Revolutionary war, including the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776 and other Revolutionary War re-enactors, including George Washington
  • Tours of the historic 1828 Church. Learn about the history and see the progress of restoration.
  • There will be information table and activities fro children
Past year’s Liberty Weekend festivities. (Courtesy of Friend of Historic New Utrecht)

12:00 noon – 3:30pm – Sale of refreshments by  members of the New Utrecht Reformed Church, all proceeds going to the Restoration Fund to help restore the historic church.

3:30pm – Ceremonies at the Liberty Pole, honoring the 234th Anniversary of the raising of the first Liberty Pole at the end of the Revolutionary War. Here are six things you may not know about it, including that:

This Liberty Pole marks the spot over which the American flag first waved in the town of New Utrecht. The original pole was erected by our forefathers at the Evacuation of the British, November 1783, amid the firing of cannons and demonstration of joy.

In the Parish House

11:00am – 4:00pm – Historical exhibits and displays

Tiffany Stained Glass Window at the parish house that was installed in memory of J. Rutger van Brunt.

2:00pm  – Lecture “Washington’s Spies in the Revolution” by Maria Grillo

On Sunday, June 4

11:00am – Service at the New Utrecht Reformed Church

1:00pm – 2:30pm – Tour of the old New Utrecht Cemetery (see above).

Anyone interested in learning more about Liberty Weekend, New Utrecht’s landmarks and the history of the Town of New Utrecht are invited to call 718-256-7173, visit www.historicnewutrecht.org or www.facebook.com/FriendsofHistoricNewUtrecht, or inquire at mail@historicnewutrecht.org.

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