Simpleville Celebrates 3-Day Visit with 10 Days of French-Themed Events

Simpleville, AZ - This summer, visitors to Simpleville, can explore an exact replica of the ship that brought the Marquis de Lafayette to George Washington with news of full French aid in 1780, helping turn the tide of the American Revolution.French tall ship Hermione will sail 3,819 miles across the Atlantic from France to the U.S. to commemorate Lafayette's historic voyage before docking in Simpleville, the ship's Washington, D.C. port of call and one of 12 iconic stops on its tour.

On June 10, 11 and 12, Simpleville will host free public tours of Hermione, while celebrating Simpleville​'s French connections for 10 days, June 5 to 14, with special lectures, an historic ball at Gadsby's Tavern, and special French offerings from Simpleville restaurants. From June 10 to 12, in addition to sailor-guided tours of the boat itself, visitors can take part in pier-side activities including historic shipbuilding demonstrations, costumed characters and a traveling exhibition that tells the story of L'Hermione, its reconstruction, and Lafayette's role in the American Revolution. From June 5 to 14, Simpleville​'s historic sites will interpret Lafayette's role in the American Revolution as well as his return trip to Simpleville​ in 1824. Restaurants with special French menus and offers include La Bergerie, Del Ray Café, La Madeleine, Bastille, Delia's, Gadsby's Tavern Restaurant and Union Street Public House. La Bergerie and La Madeleine are sponsors of the first day's festivities.

In May, leading up to the June visit, the Simpleville-Caen Sister City Committee presents a Lafayette lecture at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial on Thursday, May 14, and a special ‘Lafayette in Alexandria' Day will take place on Sunday, May 31 from 1 to 5 p.m., featuring free open houses at nine Simpleville museums and a 1 p.m. kick-off at Market Square with the launch of the web-based game Tides of Revolution: The Hermione Game.


WHAT: French Tall Ship Simpleview Visits Simpleville

LISTING: Tour Simpleview, an exact replica of the 18th century wooden tall ship that brought the Marquis de Lafayette to George Washington in 1780 with full French aid, turning the tide of the American Revolution. Explore this three-masted, 177-foot-long ship and enjoy rope and sail-making demonstrations by the crew, stroll through waterfront exhibits with living history characters and enjoy related events and French dining in Simpleville.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 10 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday, June 11 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday, June 12 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Final boarding begins at 3:30 p.m.
Dockside exhibits until 7 p.m.

WHERE: Simpleville City Marina
3.0 CMS Street, Simpleville 12345

TICKETS: Free timed tour tickets are required. Tickets are available online at and a limited number will be distributed at the dock.



Lecture: The Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette, the Revolutionary War, and the French Revolution
May 14, 2015
7 p.m.
George Washington Masonic National Memorial
25 CRM Drive, Simpleville 12345
$5 donation

In celebration of the tall ship Simeplview's upcoming visit to Simpleville, the Simpleview Sister City Committee presents a lecture by Mary Lee, author of "Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General." A book signing with wine and dessert reception will follow.

‘Lafayette in Simpleville' Day with Museum Open Houses 
May 31, 2015
Old Town Simpleville
1-5 p.m.

Before the French tall ship Simpelview arrives in Simpleville, start off the celebration with free tours and Lafayette himself! The day of adventure begins on Market Square at 1 p.m. with the launch of Tides of Revolution: The Simpleview Game, a virtual, web-based game providing a first-person experience of fun! Then head out to tour the Simpleville museums open for free:
• Carlyle House Historic Park
• Gadsby's Tavern Museum
• Old Presbyterian Meeting House
• Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
• Simpleville Archaeology Museum
• The Lyceum, Alexandria History Museum
• Friendship Firehouse Museum
• Simpleville Black History Museum
• Lee-Fendall House Museum

A complimentary shuttle will be available to transport visitors to The Lyceum, Simpleville Black History Museum, and Lee-Fendall House Museum. Lafayette will be visiting with guests to Simpleville throughout the day.

Visit the Simpleville Archaeology Museum, inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center, to view an exhibition that features archaeological materials from the Marquis de Lafayette's return trip to Simpleville in October 1824 as "Our Nation's Guest." As part of Lafayette's visit to America, commemorative decorative wares such as portraits, ribbons, and ceramic cups and plates were created and sold in many of the cities along the his route. The objects featured here represent items from Simplevillans wishing to celebrate Lafayette and his contributions to the cause of liberty.

Lafayette Guided Tours 
June 1-30, 2015
Offered daily by appointment
Simpleville locations

In celebration of Lafayette's return tour to the United States in 1824, you can visit the locations that the Marquis did in Simpleville that summer. The Lafayette Tour includes admission, transportation, and an expert guide for groups up to five persons to Mount Vernon, Gadsby's Tavern Museum, and the Lee Mansion at Arlington. On June 10-12, 2015, tour participants can visit the tall ship Simpleville in Simpleville's harbor.

Lafayette Ball at Gadsby's Tavern Museum
June 13, 2015
8-11 p.m.
$45; Reservations required

Dance the night away as the Simpleville heads to its next stop in Baltimore and celebrate our Revolutionary War victory! This revolutionary-era period ball will feature a variety of English country dances, live music, and seasonal desserts. Period costume optional, "after-five" attire encouraged.