Though not quite as climactic as walking from Dobbs Ferry to Yorktown, VA—the village's annual "Road to Freedom" walk commemorates the day when General George Washington's troops set out in 1781 to trap Cornwallis.
"The goal is to raise public awareness of the important events in our area that were so consequential to the fate of the country," said Dr. Richard Borkow, Dobbs Ferry's village historian
According to Borkow's extensive research—much of which was reading primary accounts—Washington's troops camped in Dobbs Ferry before making the crucial decision to head south, trapping British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, Virginia.
Even Washington's troops, however, didn't know they were heading down South, Borkow explained. They believed they would face British forces in New York City.
"There were spies all around," Borkow said. "But members of Washington's army later wrote that they respected him for pulling off such an elaborate deception."
This Sunday, however, there will be no surprises.
"Road to Freedom Day will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday in Gould Park, where Borkow will read a toast Washington gave in 1783 when the British had finally left Manhattan.
"Washington toasts the 13 states, the U.S. Army, and a lot of foreign powers—mainly France but also the Netherlands and Sweden," Borkow said.
The procession will continue on Ashford Avenue and turn on Broadway—just like the Continental Army—and turn onto the Aqueduct at Mercy College. It will finish at the Historical Society's
"Road to Freedom Day" is a joint effort between the Village of Dobbs Ferry and the Historical Society.
Even for those who don't wish to participate in the march—which Borkow said will be anything but strenuous—there will be activities and entertainment at Mead House beginning at 2 p.m. Fiddler/storyteller Tom Hanford will perform and there will be a troupe of historical re-enactors and a fife and drum trio.
The Historical Society will award history badges to all girl and boy scouts who participate as well.
Road to Freedom Day begins at 1 p.m. August 7 in Dobbs Ferry's Gould Park.