Photo & Video Recap of the
2017 Wedding Showcase

On March 19th, we welcomed spring with our second annual Princeton Wedding Showcase. It was a unique and interactive experience for all, with an attendance of over 30 vendors and 200+ guests. A special thank you goes out to Kyo Morishima Photography for providing awesome engagement photos to our couples at the show, and sharing wedding inspiration in their Unique and Simple Wedding Ideas post!

We’re already looking forward to next year’s show. But before we start planning for 2018, let’s take a moment to enjoy a photo and video recap of the 2017 Princeton Wedding Showcase!

Getting Ready – Featuring our Special Edition Snapchat GeoFilter

Cosmo Bleu Salon’s Complimentary Hair & Makeup Trials

Live Model Fashion Show featuring Bridal Suite Boutique and Brooks Brothers

Cocktail hour with a touch of sentiment from Don’s Piano

Don's Piano #nassaubride #nassaugroom #princetonlove #princeton #wedding #babygrandpiano

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Listen to the music!

Princeton Wedding Showcase!

Posted by Nassau Inn on Sunday, March 19, 2017

Franklin & Alison Music give us their Uptown Funk!

Menu Tastings

PU Tigerlilies guest star in two acapella performances for the ultimate Princetonian experience

Posted by Nassau Inn on Sunday, March 19, 2017

Listen to their acapella performance!

Brillman’s Rental Barn

Viburnum Designs

NEW Nassau Inn wedding linen & china on display with gorgeous Floral & Designs by Petal Pushers.

A taste of  Chez Alice, our local Palmer Square partner!

Thomas Sweets Truffle Bar

Some eat, some dance, and some take over Ambient DJ’s Photo Booth!

Be inspired by Grit + Polish, an innovative nail salon in downtown Princeton!

Grab a treat! More cake and tastings from Caketeria

The 2017 Princeton Wedding Showcase was filled with a ton of complimentary fun, and there was something for everyone to take home. Those who completed the scavenger hunt to door prizes won from giveaways such as Nassau Inn’s Princeton Get-Away, honeymoon airfare for two, $500 shopping spree from Hamilton Jewelers, and more. This was our best (and sweetest) event yet, and we couldn’t have done it without you!

Thank you to our staff, sponsors, vendors and participants for making the event a success! Wishing all engaged couples a happy and prosperous life!

Nassau Inn Invites Couples to Fall in Love with Princeton!

On March 19th, the Nassau Inn and the Princeton community bring to town a wedding showcase event unlike any other where guests can truly experience everything for themselves and see why Princeton is THE WEDDING DESTINATION!

A PRINCETON WEDDING SHOWCASE, MARCH 19th, 12-4pm at Nassau Inn, open house style.

Couples who picture a magical winter wedding, cocktail hour by lantern light, a light and breezy outdoor ceremony or a dramatic ballroom event, will be inspired by tangible exhibits and planning tips on bringing those visions to life. This year’s second annual event will tap into the creative minds of design and floral experts such as Petal Pushers, Viburnum Designs & Brillman’s Rental Barn and bring guests fully designed rooms they can walk through, feel and picture themselves in.

Pre-registered guests will have the opportunity to work with one of Nassau Inn’s preferred photographers Kyo Morishima and have their engagement photo taken in an iconic setting. Digital copies will be provided to the guests for their personal use.

The timeless debate of live music, DJ or both will be easy to answer after guests experience performances by Franklin and Alison Orchestra, Sound Choice DJ and Ambient DJ. Dancing shoes are a must because the Inn’s preferred musicians will keep the party going all day! Couples looking to add a little flair to their event should be sure to catch Don’s Piano who will be playing cocktail music in the timeless second floor lobby and Princeton’s very own Tiger Lilies acapella group will make a special appearance and perform a few of their hits!  

Brides fall in love with gorgeous gowns from The Bridal Suite and Boutique of Hamilton. The live model fashion show format will allow fluid conversation with the models. Those important questions such as fit and comfort level will all be answered! Once they know what they want to wear for the big day, a trip to see the beauty consultants from Cosmo Bleu Salon will get brides a mini makeover and up-do trial.

Grooms will not be forgotten at the wedding show. New this year, Brooks Brothers will join in the live model fashion show. From Tuxedos to custom tailored suits, you’re sure to find the right style and budget for your groom and groomsmen. The show is the perfect opportunity to cross off everything on “his” to do list in one day. A1 Limousine will be here with demo vehicles and Nassau Inn staff is on hand to answer all of his rehearsal dinner questions.

Of course no showcase would be complete without menu sampling. This year guests should come hungry and ready to sample two different style menus. Guest can taste the classic braised beef short rib entree or sample selections from our new reception style menu “Midnight in Paris.” In addition to wedding entrees, try popular enhancements such as post wedding breakfasts, cocktail hour stations and “Say Good Night Gracie’s”. Couples may want to add a touch of local flair to complement their wedding packages. Tastings from Nassau Inn’s local partners will also be available. Visit Olsson’s Fine Foods, Chez Alice, Cartero & Cavero, Thomas Sweets’ and the Caketeria at the showcase.

Vendors and sponsors have added great door prizes and giveaways to this year’s event. Hamilton Jewelers has provided a chance to win a $500 gift card. Allegiant Air has provided honeymoon airfare for two. All preregistered brides will receive a swag bag sponsored by Palmer Square with exclusive offers and gifts from participating vendors and partners and many more door prizes will be announced.

Nassau Inn is offering exclusive discounts to those who come prepared to book their wedding the day of the show, guests can receive 17% off their package (exclusions apply).  

Fall in Love with Princeton and discover your wedding destination!

To register for this event please visit www.princetonweddingshow.com.

More information including a complete participating vendor list, schedule of events and door prizes please visit the website www.princetonweddingshow.com.

For press inquiries please contact Jamie Volkert, Nassau Inn Marketing Manager at 609-688-2624 or jamievolkert@nassauinn.com

The Best of Wedding Music

Having trouble deciding what music is right for your wedding? Stop by the Princeton Wedding Showcase on Sunday, March 19th and hear the best of musical offerings!

“The Battle of the Band”… or DJ

  • Live bands get the crowd excited, add a touch of sophistication and are attuned to playing music according to the “feel” of the room. Plus, having a live band cover your song during the first dance is very intimate and romantic. Franklin & Alison Music plays a variety of musical genres ranging from Classical, Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz, Caribbean and Latin. Their talented musicians can play anything and will be taking requests at the wedding show!
  • We love DJs because they can easily find your favorite songs AND they make awesome MC’s who can really set the mood and keep the party fun and energetic. Every couple is different, so you’ll want to find a DJ that fits your personality at the wedding show! Sound Choice DJ is our MC for the day, so be sure to hear them throughout the day as they keep the party going! Ambient DJ, one of our house favorites, brings a photo booth with him and covers more than just music. Scratch Weddings is a specialty turntable DJ – you won’t want to miss their set!

Add a Personalized Touch

  • Your heart and soul will fall in love with Don’s Piano, who will be playing various melodic Jazz pieces at the wedding show! Piano is great for the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour because of its relaxing ambiance and touch of sentiment.
  • Looking for the ultimate Princetonian experience? Nothing says it quite like acapella music from Princeton’s very own Tiger Lilies, who will stop by the show on the 19th to serenade you!

Still deciding on your wedding music? Let us help you discover the best at the Princeton Wedding Showcase on Sunday, March 19th!  Pre-register at PrincetonWeddingShow.com.


About the AuthorLily 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.

Top 5 Cheese and
Wine/Liquor Pairings

“Cheese is fulfilling to eat and full of flavor. It’s never boring,” says Rudie Smit, who owns Olsson’s Fine Foods with his wife, Jennifer. “All cheeses are different and the ongoing discovery process is truly fascinating. Learning about cheese is like uncovering a book full of stories – there’s a story behind the person who made the cheese, how they first made it and how the flavors developed over time,” he says. Hear all about these stories AND enjoy his gourmet cheese at the Princeton Wedding Showcase in March! In the meantime, learn the top 5 ways to pair cheese with wine/liquor with Rudie’s pro tips!

  1. Creamier cheeses love the subtle flavor of sparkling white wine. Délice de Bourgogne, a French triple cream cheese, goes well with champagne. This is Rudie’s favorite pairing.
  2. Red wine goes with harder cheeses such as Gouda, Manchego and Goat Milk Cheese. Carménère wine from Chile is fruity, not bitter nor tart, which pairs best with earthy and nutty cheeses.
  3. Malt Whiskey goes with 5 Year Aged Gouda. Rudie and his folks call it “Candy Cheese” because of its sweetness, butterscotch-caramel flavor and crunchy texture.
  4. Cheese with beer is a classic pairing that goes way back in Europe and has many variations… Here are a few!Rudie’s tips on pairing cheese with beer:
    • Stouts and porters go with smoked cheese.
    • Lagers go better with younger cheeses such as cheddar.
    • Crisp beer, just like white wine, goes with creamier cheeses.
  5. Delice de Jura is a pasteurized milk cheese. When melted, you can serve it on a spoon or spread it on crusty bread. This cheese pairs best with fruity red or white wine and is a great choice for weddings and parties, especially in the spring.

If this made you hungry, then it’s time to head over to Olsson’s Fine Foods and satisfy your cheese cravings! This gourmet cheese shop is only a walk away from our doorsteps, and we’re partnered together in various ways. Olsson’s specialty imported cheeses are available on our corporate, social and wedding menu packages. Cheese and entertaining also go hand-in-hand. If you’re newly engaged, don’t miss out on a chance to taste Olsson’s Gourmet Cheese at our Princeton Wedding Showcase on Sunday, March 19th! Pre-register for the event here. See you there!


About the AuthorLily 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.

Tips for Great Engagement
Photos by Kyo Morishima Photography

Kyo and Janna are a husband-and-wife team who run Kyo Morishima Photography, a relaxed, documentary-style wedding photography studio based in central New Jersey. They are sponsors of our 2nd annual Princeton Wedding Showcase and one of our favorite photographers to work with! Be sure to check them out at the showcase on March 19th, as they will be providing complimentary photos. Don’t forget to pre-register for the event! Here are their tips for great engagement photos.

  • Visit your happy place!
    Think of a place to go or an activity to do together that you makes you smile and feel happy. For instance, if you love being with your dog, go for a walk with your dog! Or if you love coffee, go to one of your favorite cafes. Or if you love playing games together, have a Jenga match!
  • Dress to make yourself happy
    Don’t worry too much about what type of clothes to wear. There are a few simple guidelines you should keep in mind: mid-tone, plain colors or very simple patterns look best; very dark or light colors or bold, big patterns can be challenging in photographs. But other than that, the important thing is to wear clothes that make YOU feel like you look great and are comfortable!
  • Cloudy, snowy, or misty weather can be just as beautiful as clear skies
    Don’t worry too much about the weather or the time of year. It’s possible to take great photos in most types of weather and at any time of year. But do check with your photographer about his or her policy regarding rescheduling the photo shoot if the weather is TOTALLY uncooperative (like, if it’s raining cats and dogs).
  • Schedule your photo session when the light is prettiest
    The best light for photos is very early in the day when the sun is rising, or late in the afternoon when the sun is setting. We often schedule engagement sessions to begin about two hours before sunset time.
  • Expect that it’ll take a bit of time to relax
    In the beginning of the photo shoot, you’ll probably feel a little stiff and weird. After all, you’re probably not used to being followed around by a photographer (unless you’re a professional model). That’s completely natural. Go with the flow and keep focusing on each other. Treat the photo session like a fun date.
  • Find a photographer with whom you connect
    It’s definitely important that you feel a rapport with your photographer. That’s one of the things you should pay attention to when you first meet each other. Do you have a good feeling about him or her? Can you have a conversation? Do you *like* him or her? If you connect with each other, that will have a big impact on how the pictures turn out. When you get along with your photographer, it will make it so much easier to relax in front of the camera.

On Sunday March 19th, join us for our Princeton Wedding Showcase! To take advantage of complimentary engagement photos by Kyo Morishima Photography, pre-registration is required.

Mary & Tim’s Wedding
April 2016

Love happens.
After meeting for the first time, and feeling an instant connection, Mary & Tim’s love for each other blossomed over the years. Here’s their story!Nassau Inn Wedding

“Tim and I have an interesting story- how much time do you have!” Mary says. “Tim is originally from Sydney, Australia and I’m from Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. We met in 2008 whilst I was traveling in Sydney for the summer before I started college. We instantly connected and became friends- and every year after that Tim came to New Jersey for various amounts of time: traveling, holidays, semester abroad, and then lastly in 2014 for a year when he got a job as the youth minister for St. David the King Catholic Church in Princeton. During that time was when we fell in love with Princeton. It’s charming and beautiful; every season in Princeton is magical. Walking around the town was our favourite thing to do. We especially loved the fall foliage and walking through the town looking at all the trees change colors, but when we saw the cherry blossom trees in spring, we knew we needed to get married in Princeton – so we chose the 15th of April, and the Nassau Inn was the perfect fit!”

“Mary and Tim are an adorable, laughable and lovable couple,” says Jaime Wolf, Catering Sales Manager. “They’re smiley, outgoing and so in love! It was a lot of fun being around them!”

“We loved every second of our wedding at the Nassau Inn. Everything was spectacular and made our day so special in a way we couldn’t have even imagined!” Mary says.

And now… a glimpse at Mary and Tim’s #BestDayEver!

Nassau Inn Weddings #BestDayEverNassau Inn Weddings #BestDayEverNassau Inn Weddings #BestDayEverNassau Inn Weddings #BestDayEverNassau Inn Weddings #BestDayEver

Beautiful wedding pictures courtesy of Melanie Reyes Photography!


About the AuthorLily 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

mccarter-theatre-center

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

TheaterToGo

 

 

 

 

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.

mothersdayflowers

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.

Palmer Square

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.

PU

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

mccarter-theatre-center

6 Reasons to Book Your Winter Wedding at the Nassau Inn

Winter wedding 2

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.

Winter wedding 4

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.

KMP010811-481

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.

winter wedding 1

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.

 

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

12.14.15.2

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

Marilyn

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

kellyranier-wedding

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

evil

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?

keith moon

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.