A Seasonal Guide for Princeton Travel

Princeton welcomes you any time of the year. When coming to visit us here in Princeton, know what to expect depending on the season!

Traveling

If you’re coming during the autumn, expect green, auburn, and yellow crisp leaves scattered across the grass and sidewalks. Pack layers of clothing so you can enjoy the scenery outside without being bothered by the cool gushes of wind. During this season, try the Pumpkin Spiced Café at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room for freshly brewed coffee with pumpkin spice, cinnamon and whipped cream.

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When winter is here, make sure to keep warm under a big coat. Occasionally, the snow may drizzle. It’s the perfect weather to wear knit hats, mittens and hold hands while staring into the effervescent lights spread jubilantly around Princeton. Join in on the holiday cheer at Palmer Square, where you are sure to bump into carolers or even the big man himself!

Winter Wonderland - outside

Spring is cherry blossom season. Many trees are in bloom here. You don’t want to miss out on the flower filled tree lined streets. Take a walk around the University, Cherry Valley Road, and Washington Ave. This is a good time to bring out the capris, cardigans, blazers, and light jackets for the evenings.

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“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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The moment summer arrives is when Princeton feels particularly like an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. In his novel, This Side of Paradise, his writing exemplifies the beauty of Princeton and the special place he had for it in his heart, not failing to mention the Nassau Inn! Summer is time to begin again—so strip away from all the layers, and pack light clothing.

Happy travels!


About the Author: Lily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Another great reason to bring your corporate meetings to Princeton… Team Building

Whether you aim to inspire the creative players, encourage the leaders, relax the overworked or share some laughs, there is no shortage of unique team building options in Princeton, all guaranteed to encourage camaraderie and solidarity amongst your staff.

Top activities for a corporate group in Princeton —

Princeton Tour Company

Walk the Walk:  Looking for something a little light hearted, try Princeton Tour Company’s ghost hunt and dinner package. If you have natural born leaders that just need a little shaping, the battlefield leadership experience provides a challenging day of training and decision making! No matter your goal the Princeton Tour company has an option for you. Each private tour is customized for your industry while covering the chronological history of the University and surrounding town – including the homes of Albert Einstein, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, F Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Oppenheimer and more. Plan your customized walking tour, bus tour, and battlefield leadership experience or scavenger hunt today. www.princetontourcompany.com

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Showtime! With over 200 performances of theatre, music, dance and special events a year the theatre is a viable group entertainment option. Many of the running performances feature well-known actors and often the visiting shows are national acts. Q&A sessions are available after select shows. Discounted rates and dinner theatre options are available for groups.   www.mccarter.org

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Be Dramatic:
Prefer to be part of a show instead of sitting in the audience. No problem. Theater – To – Go will bring the show to you. The interactive shows are all customizable and include themes such as Judge & Jury, Murder Mystery, Game Show and more! Plan your dinner and give them a call, they are an awesome compliment to any dinner party. Keep in mind this option is more cost efficient for groups of 20 or more since they bring a whole cast of actors to your dinner! www.theatertogo.com

PaintTheNight

 

 

 

 

 


Paint the Night:
Paint and Sip parties are all the rage. Did you know Cranberry Station Gallery, located right in the heart of Palmer Square will not only host your party in their gallery, but they will also come to you if you have a dinner planned? The per-person cost is very reasonable and you provide your own wine and snacks, plus your guests get to take their creations home with them! http://cranburystationgallery.com/paint-party-events/

ArtWalk

Art Walk: It’s always free to take a stroll through the Princeton University Art Museum. If you plan on bringing a large group there are private options including a scenic art walk through campus ending at the museum. Be sure to call ahead, the staff is very happy to cater to your needs. Insider tip: Thursday night’s there is a complimentary wine reception in the lobby! http://artmuseum.princeton.edu

TeaForAll

Tea anyone? Tea for All offers etiquette and tasting classes for groups of any size. They come right to your venue and break-up a long afternoon meeting perfectly. Unlike wine, these tastings allow you to go back to work focused and more productive.

Yoga

De-Stress: What if you could help improve the health of your employees and reduce their stress levels at the same time? Yoga is a proven cost effective way to do just that, and work place yoga shows your team you care! Group classes for up to 40 people are offered at the Yoga Stream studio on Witherspoon Street, or ask them about coming to your venue. The professionals at Yoga Stream can turn any meeting room into a studio. All of this is available at a very reasonable rate. www.yogastream.net.

OneSimpleWish

Feeling Generous? While there are many charitable organizations out there that your company can opt to support. One Simple Wish is a local organization that grants simple wishes for children in the foster care system. This organization has fun activities that will help brighten the lives of a child all the while fulfilling your philanthropic mission in a feel good kind of way. Build bikes, sponsor suitcases or grant wishes with your team and instantly transform everyone into one lucky child’s super hero! www.onesimplewish.org

Escape Room

Escape the Everyday: The Amazing Escape Room, Princeton is new to the Princeton scene but brings with it 6 challenging game rooms that will decipher the leaders from the followers. Each room can handle up to 12 people and teams are given an hour to read the clues, solve the mystery and escape the room. Need help deciding who would work best on project teams, sit back and enjoy managers can watch their teams in action. www.amazingescaperoom.com/princeton-nj/

In short, if you are planning a meeting and need any team building or entertainment, there is no better place than Princeton where arts and entertainment are right at your doorstep.

Another Insider Tip: The Nassau Inn has 188 guest rooms, 13 meeting rooms and is in walking distance of everything Princeton! www.nassauinn.com

 

5 Wonderful Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day in Princeton

On the day where we go out of our way to show our moms exactly how much they mean to us, Princeton provides plenty of options. Whether Mom wants a show, a stroll or a shopping trip, there’s something for everyone in our roundup below.

Kick off the day with a fragrant bouquet of freshly cut, elegantly arranged flowers. Our friends at Viburnum Designs can help you find the perfect combination.

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Mother’s Day brunch at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room has been a beloved tradition in Princeton for generations. Enjoy an unforgettable dining experience that mom will love. See the full menu here.

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Drop by Palmer Square where mom can take her pick from familiar brand names such as Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren, or the many unique locally-owned boutiques, spas, and galleries.

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Take a leisurely stroll around downtown Princeton and through the stunning Princeton University campus. While there, visit the Princeton University Art Museum and Prospect Gardens for even more fun.

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Take in a show at the world renowned McCarter Theater. See what’s scheduled for Mother’s Day here.

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10 Things We Learned at the Princeton Wedding Showcase

1. White weddings never go out of style

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2. Overcast weather is actually the best light for photos!

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3. Rustic is not synonymous with barn wedding. You can have the rustic look with the elegance and convenience of a ball room.

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4. No matter what your fashion sense, all gowns blend seamlessly with the versatile settings of the Inn.

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5. Having a wedding downtown means having all the shopping and services you could possibly need at your finger-tips. On your wedding day the salon will come to you, no need to go anywhere!

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6. Stains in your gown can set rather quickly. Plan ahead and designate a person to take your gown to be preserved while you are on your honeymoon. Our seamstress also preserves gowns!

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7. Re-purposed wine barrels, crates, suitcases and more make for great wedding props and décor.

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8. You can rent anything you need to bring your vision to life. From sequin table cloths to vintage furniture, it’s all just a call away.

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9. Every man should own at least one good suit. What better keepsake of your special day than a custom tailored suit instead of a tuxedo!

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10. Your Happily Ever After Begins Here …

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Princeton Wedding Showcase

The NASSAU INN with Hamilton Jewelers present
The Princeton Wedding Showcase
Sunday, March 13, 2016
12 PM – 4 PM

nassauinnIf the question got popped and you said, “yes”, then the Princeton Wedding Show should be at the top of your list of must-attend events!

Held on Sunday, March 13th here at the Nassau Inn, this year’s wedding show promises to be more dynamic and magical than ever before.

You can truly EXPERIENCE everything and see for yourself what makes this town great!

 

Be inspired! Do you picture a magical winter wedding, cocktail hour by lantern light, a light and breezy outdoor ceremony or a dramatic ballroom event? This year’s event will allow you walk through fully staged areas of the hotel designed by Vinterest and other local florists. You can see first-hand what our preferred vendors do best… and that’s bring your visions to life.

Remember Your Happiness Today and Always!

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Pre-registered guests can sign up to have their engagement photos taken by one of our favorite photographers, Kyo Morishima. A digital copy will be sent to you for you to use in any way you would like!

Get Moving!

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Nervous about your first dance as man and wife? No need to worry. Fred Astaire of Princeton will be here to show you how to glide across the dance floor. Enjoy beautiful ballroom dancing demonstrations or get hands-on and participate in a lesson. And don’t miss the walking tour of Princeton! Join Princeton Tour Company as they navigate through town and show you all the hot photo op spots and ceremony sites around the square and on campus. Learn a little history along the way and Discover why Princeton is THE wedding weekend destination!

Embrace your inner fashionista!

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Our roaming live model fashion show hosted by Exquisite bride will not only allow you to see gorgeous gowns (for all seasons) but also speak to the models and ask about the fit and the comfort level. Once you know what you want to wear for you big day stop by to see Cosmo Blue and consult about hair and makeup, even test out a style or two.

Play like a Boy!

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Whoever said Bridal Shows aren’t fun for the Groom hasn’t come to our show. Drop him off at the Groom’s Corner where he will find everything from tastings to activities to groomsmen gift options, and wedding band inspiration by Hamilton Jewelers. He can also get fit for a custom tailored suit by Brooks Brothers, check out transportation services with A-1 Limousine, and even book the rehearsal dinner. This is the perfect opportunity to cross off everything on “his” to do list in one day.

Tantalize your taste buds!

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Sample all the foods you normally cannot try in advance. We will be sampling post wedding breakfast items, Say Goodnight Gracie’s, cocktail hour stations and sweet and savory wedding enhancements from our local partners, such as Olsson’s Fine Foods, Chez Alice and Cartero & Cavero, and the Caketeria.

Our Gift to you!

Thanks to our vendors and sponsors, we have great door prizes and giveaways this year. As an event sponsor Hamilton, Jewelers has provided a chance to win a honeymoon cruise and a $1000 Jewelry shopping spree to use toward your wedding bands. Exquisite bride has donated a chance to win $500 shopping spree to use towards your new wedding dress. All preregistered brides will receive a swag bag sponsored by Palmer Square with exclusive offers and gifts from our vendors and partners and many more door prizes will be announced shortly.

Come prepared to book your Nassau Inn 2016 wedding the day of the show and receive 16% off your package (exclusions apply).

Discover Princeton as the wedding destination! www.princetonweddingshow.com

6 Reasons to Book Your Winter Wedding at the Nassau Inn

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Spring and summer weddings get a lot of love, but there’s nothing more heart-warming and wonderfully romantic than the beauty and magic of a winter wedding here at the Nassau Inn. Our inviting atmosphere, vibrant festive feel, and year-round charm are just a few great reasons why the colder months have become more popular than ever with our brides.

If you’re considering a winter wedding in the heart of downtown Princeton, allow us to further illustrate why the Nassau Inn is the perfect frame for your winter wedding dream.

Save Money

Our spectacular deals on our winter wedding packages will save you lots of money. Plus, winter tends to be a less busy time of year for vendors, therefore you might be able to score significant discounts on everything from the photographer to the DJ.

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Flexibility

Popular dates during the traditional wedding months sometimes book up years in advance. You’ll find it much easier to get your dream Saturday date in in the winter. It’s even easier to book if you decide to get married mid-week.

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Accommodations

Our stunning colonial features, surrounding attractions, and all the luxuries you’d expect from a modern hotel makes us one seriously stylish venue for your winter wedding. Boasting 13 beautiful banquet areas and 188 guest rooms, we can accommodate parties large and small, from 10 wedding guests to 200.

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Photos

Our property is always picturesque, but during the winter months it is utterly stunning. You and your guests will depart your wedding experience with numerous and inspiring snapshots of a perfect and unforgettable day.

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Planning

Our dedicated wedding coordinators are on hand to help create a day that is as individual, exciting and memorable as you have always hoped – helping you plan every detail to perfection, from the dining to the first dance.

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Menu

Winter wedding menus are all about warming, comfort foods. Celebrate your day with a celebration of sensational seasonal flavors. Whatever you can imagine, our expert culinary team are happy to create a menu that reflects your wishes, making your special day as tasty as it is beautiful.

Exterior

To schedule a tour, or for more information,  please contact us at sales@nassauinn.com or (609) 921-7500.

 

7 Simple Ways to Nail Your Winter Makeup

This is a guest post by Magda’s Designs Inc.

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People like to hibernate in the winter. It’s cold out, it gets darker earlier; it’s the time of year one would rather snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie. Ironically, however, winter also happens to be a season filled with holiday parties, family get togethers, weddings, and a lot of photos for proof of getting together. These photos will be plastered on Facebook, Instagram and basically anywhere else photos can be uploaded these days; a scary thought for someone who tends to dislike how they look in pictures.
Here’s a tip…makeup can make all the difference.

Because the Nassau Inn will host of many of these wondrous affairs, we wanted to give their guests and brides a few tips on how to nail their makeup and look great in every photo snapped in their direction.

1. First things first, the same shade of lipstick, eye shadow, etc., does not look the same all year round. Just because you like the way a certain color looks in the summer, does not mean it will flatter you come winter. Check out How is the Sunlight Affecting Your Makeup?.

2. If you read the above article, you now understand that winter has a lot of that not-so-flattering blue light, which brings more attentions to things you’d like to cover up, i.e. red spots, dark under-eye circles. Winter is the time of year to pull out highlighters and light-reflective foundations.

3. Blue light reflects colors with blue tones, so think silver, gray, red, berry shades, etc. when it comes to your eyeshadow.

4. It’s natural to lose your tan in the summer, so don’t over-do it with the bronzer. To add some color to your face, use some blush.

5. Go for the dark lip. Just do it.

6. Use waterproof mascara. It’s great for any occasion, especially if there’s any snow in the forecast.

7. Now that you know the tips to great winter makeup, don’t forget that before the makeup comes the foundation. If your skin is dry and cracked, the makeup won’t look good, regardless of color. Check out 5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Skin Hydrated This Winter.

Please visit our friends at Magdas Designs to learn more about their amazing Hair & Makeup Services.

Heights, Lights, & History – Amazing Stories of the Palmer Square Tree

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For decades, the colossal conifer rising above Palmer Square has brightened downtown and the spirits of the community every holiday season. Its heights, lights, and decorations draw as many as 80,000 annual visitors. However, there’s a lot more to this spectacular centerpiece than just its dazzling brilliance. From World War II to the world’s greatest tree lighting ceremony, let’s get to the “root” of the most iconic tree in Princeton.

A Token of Appreciation

In 1945, as a token of appreciation for donating his 195-foot steel schooner for commission in World War II to patrol and protect the shores of Iceland, Sveinn Björnsson, the nation’s first president, personally presented Edgar Palmer with quite literally the most beautiful Norway Spruce in all of Scandinavia. A gold collar around the lower trunk bore the inscription: “Megi þetta tré vernda lendir leið skipi sem er varið þín og okkar”; translated: “May this tree protect your lands the way your ship protected ours.” During that time period, the Nordic custom of gifting evergreens to close friends and allies was equivalent to being knighted – an honor of which Edgar Palmer was very proud. He immediately made arrangements to have the tree planted on the green at Palmer Square. Furthermore, while it stood only at a mere 10-feet tall at the time, it had the magnificence and beauty of a tree more than 10 times its size.

Einstein’s Marilyn

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In the late 1940’s, Albert Einstein invited his last great love, Marilyn Monroe, to visit his home in Princeton. When he took her to Palmer Square, Marilyn stopped at the tree and expressed how incredibly beautiful she thought it was. Einstein concurred and said, “It’s possibly the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen.” He paused for a moment and then revealed, “It’s so beautiful, in fact, that I even named it.”

“Named it what?” she kindly asked.

“Marilyn,” he replied.

Some believe it was at that moment in which one of the most unlikely love stories began. Whatever the case, to this day, long time locals still refer to the tree as Marilyn.

Topping the Charts

Brenda Lee

While it’s widely believed that the timeless hit Christmas song ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ was inspired by the annual tree lighting extravaganza at Rockefeller Center, songwriter Johnny Marks revealed to legendary DJ, Cousin Brucie, that he actually got the idea in Princeton. “I remember seeing this truly, truly amazing tree in the center of town,” Marks recounted. “Crowds of people were gathered around it, singing and dancing as if Elvis Presley or Chuck Berry was about to come out from inside the branches. I thought to myself, “Wow! These people are really rockin’ around the Christmas tree.” Seeing all that holiday spirit around that tree gave me such a sentimental feeling that the song (Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’) just began pouring out of me.”

When it was all said and done, it took Johnny Marks all but an hour to write both the lyrics and music to ‘Rockin Around the Christmas Tree’. The following year in 1958, Brenda Lee (AKA Little Miss Dynamite) recorded the song and took it to the top of the charts. Almost 60 years later, the timeless hit is still an essential track for any respectable holiday playlist.

Fit for a Princess

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In 1956, the Prince of Monaco planned to surprise his new wife, actress Grace Kelly, with a Christmas celebration fit for a princess.  She was to have the best of everything – including the most spectacular Christmas tree that money could buy. Having once pursued Marilyn Monroe as a possible wife, the prince was aware of a particular tree in Princeton, NJ that was deemed so amazing that the late genius, Albert Einstein, named it in Marilyn’s honor. The Prince was so bent on obtaining this tree, he practically wrote a blank check in exchange for it. Unfortunately for the Prince, no amount of money was acceptable, as Edgar Palmer left very clear instructions that the tree was never to leave its home for any reason.

Evel Comes to Princeton

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By the mid-1960’s, Marilyn – the tree, that is – had grown to be over 40 feet tall. At the same time, a young daredevil under the moniker of Evil Knievel made a name for himself by jumping over rows of cars on his motorcycle. Nevertheless, the novelty of jumping cars had run thin, and he needed to think of something more dangerous to excite the media. Then, on a fateful visit to downtown Princeton in 1966, he saw Marilyn. She was tall, beautiful, and perfectly placed to be jumped by motorcycle.  So, on the Friday after Thanksgiving of that year, Evel rang in the holiday shopping season with a tree lighting ceremony and high flying spectacle that Princeton would not soon forget. Not only was his jump over Marilyn a success, but the crowds and excitement that it drew cemented the Friday after Thanksgiving as the standing date for all future tree lighting ceremonies. As for Evel, he went on to jump everything from Caesars Palace to the Grand Canyon – breaking every record and bone in his body throughout his motorcycle stunt career.

Who Climbed the Tree?

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In the 1970’s, Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, was out with his alumni friends during Princeton reunions week. After a long night of partying, the bars had already closed, but Moon was still hankering for a drink with his friends. He insisted that they return to his favorite watering hole in Princeton, the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, where a barstool was always on reserve for him. Despite the doors being locked, Moon spent an hour arguing with his friends about getting inside the bar, while maintaining that the door was merely jammed. When his friends tried to physically remove him from breaking into the building, he escaped their grips and made a mad dash for the tree, aka Marilyn. He quickly scaled to the top of the tree and refused to come down until the Yankee Doodle Tap Room reopened. As the story goes, his friends tried to get him down, but eventually, they gave up. The police and fire department even arrived on the scene to respond to complaints of someone yelling and singing from the tree outside. Despite heroic efforts by Municipal authorities, it was concluded that there was no safe way to remove Mr. Moon, so they were forced to wait the night out with him. A few hours later, the manager of the Yankee Doodle Tap Room notified authorities that the bar had reopened. Although excited, Moon was concerned that he would get arrested if he came down from the tree. So he yelled out to the authorities and said, “If I come down now, are you going to let me get a drink, or are you going to arrest me? If it’s the latter, I’ll just stay here forever!” The police knew that Edgar Palmer would not want Keith Moon as a permanent ornament in his prized tree, so they let him get a drink before taking him into custody. However, he was only charged with disturbing the peace and was quickly released. Immediately after, he returned to his stool at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, but did not settle in until after he poured a drink on the soil beneath Marilyn, thanking her for her hospitality and nice place to stay the previous night.

Note: For entertainment purposes, the author of this blog may have taken certain creative liberties.

 

 

A Brief History of Black Friday

Black Friday is fast approaching, and in Palmer Square, you’re bound to discover countless sales and killer finds you’ll want to purchase for your family and friends.

While the many shops at Palmer Square will be offering incredible deals that you might not believe, here are some historic facts about ‘Black Friday’ that are pretty unbelievable too.

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  • The “Black Friday” tradition likely began in the 1920’s when department stores such as Macy’s and Eaton’s threw Thanksgiving Day parades to whet the appetites of consumers for a holiday shopping feast.
  • It was an unwritten rule that no store would try doing any holiday shopping advertising before the parades were over, making the day after Thanksgiving the official start of the holiday shopping season.
  • The term “Black Friday” first surfaced in 1951 to describe the practice of workers calling in sick on the day after Thanksgiving in order to have a four-day weekend.
  • Around the same time in Philadelphia, the term was used by police, cabbies, bus drivers, and retail workers to to depict the horde of shoppers that descended into the city on the days following Thanksgiving.
  • In the 1980’s, “Black Friday” was marketed to have gotten its name as being the day on which retailers finally began to show a profit for the year (in accounting terms, moving from being “in the red” to “in the black”) after operating at an overall loss from January through mid-November.
  • Many merchants disliked the negative connotation of the phrase ‘Black Friday’ and tried to rebrand it as ‘Big Friday’.
  • The success of “Black Friday” inspired merchants to invent new shopping holidays such as Super Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Fun Thanksgiving Facts

When most people think of a Princeton Thanksgiving, the first thing that comes to mind is spending joyous time with family and feasting on culinary delights such as as golden-roasted turkey, fluffy stuffing, tangy cranberry sauce, and whipped cream on top of pumpkin pie at the historic Yankee Doodle Tap Room.

Wherever you spend your Thanksgiving, here are 10 fun Thanksgiving Day facts to think about and share with your family and friends as you dig into this year’s turkey:

Since 1947, the president has pardoned a live turkey every Thanksgiving and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.

The first Thanksgiving was a moment for the Pilgrims to thank God for allowing them to kill enough game and grow sufficient crops to get through the winter.

Wild turkeys can fly in short bursts at speeds up to 55 MPH.

Now a Thanksgiving dinner staple, cranberries actually were used by Native Americans to treat wounds and dye clothing. They did not eat them.

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The Thanksgiving Day football tradition began with Yale and Princeton, who played their first game in 1876 and drew yearly crowds of 40,000 to see them duke it out.

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The tradition of breaking a wishbone for good luck started with the Romans.

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So consumed with passion for the turkey and its respectful stature, it is said that Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey become the United States national bird. However, the bald eagle, which Franklin thought had a “bad moral character” won out.

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St. Patrick’s Day might get the press, but the day before Thanksgiving is the biggest day for bar and liquor sales in the U.S., also ahead of the Super Bowl or New Years’ Eve.

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The first national Thanksgiving was declared by President George Washington in 1789 – although it didn’t stick until Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation in 1863.

George Washington

Considered the “Mother of Thanksgiving,” Sara Hale (1788-1879) was an influential editor and writer who urged President Lincoln to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving. She selected the last Thursday in November because, as she said, harvests were done, elections were over, and summer travelers were home.

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