2024 Special Events and Programs

Naturalization Ceremony 2022
Browse this page for all sorts of information about programs and special events, both on-site and in the community!

NPS

Join us for special events and programs throughout the year. Unless othewise noted, programs and events are free and take place at the Garfield site.

We can also do virtual programs for your group! Call us at 440-255-8722 or e-mail jaga_interpretation@nps.gov to inquire about group tours or to receive a list of programs we can present offsite or virtually for your group or club!

March

Wednesday, March 13—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue)Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: Female Spies of the Confederacy Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! March is Women’s History Month, so come hear fascinating tales of southern women who spied for the Confederacy during the Civil War: how did they gather intelligence, how did they get it into the hands of southern leaders, what happened to them, and more! Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKER: Michelle Seddon, James A. Garfield NHS.

Saturday, March 23—2 p.m.Virtual Program: Lucretia Rudolph Garfield: A Remarkable Life Join James A. Garfield NHS staff on the fourth Saturday of each month from January-April for a free virtual program on Zoom! March is Women’s History Month, so this month we’ll be discussing the long and momentous life of First Lady Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (1832-1918). Learn more about her early life, her years as “Mrs. Garfield,” and the more than three decades she lived after her husband’s assassination. Our virtual programs are great for those who live far away or are otherwise unable to visit James A. Garfield NHS. Programs will last about 45 minutes with time for Q & A afterwards. Link for Zoom meetings provided by Mentor Public Library. E-mail jaga_interpretation@nps.gov to receive link and log-in information. SPEAKER: Debbie Weinkamer, Lead Volunteer, James A. Garfield NHS.

April

Monday, April 1—1 p.m.-3 p.m.White House Easter Monday Egg Roll Hosted by First Lady Lucretia Garfield, this kid-friendly day and favorite of the public takes place on the same day as the Easter Egg Roll at the White House in Washington, D.C.! Games, activities, Easter egg hunts, and the Easter egg roll for kids are all part of this fun day that also commemorates a White House tradition in which President Garfield participated in 1881! Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance. Free. PLEASE NOTE: This is an OUTDOOR event that may be canceled if inclement weather occurs. Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance and The Garfield Trail of Ohio.

Monday, April 8—1 p.m.-5 p.m.Solar Eclipse at Mentor Civic Amphitheater (8600 Munson Road, Mentor, Ohio) Mentor, Ohio will be in the path of 100% totality for a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024! Join National Park Service staff at Mentor Civic Amphitheater (8600 Munson Road, Mentor, OH 44040) to view the eclipse and do some fun eclipse-related activities! PLEASE NOTE: Due to space and parking limitations, James A. Garfield NHS’s buildings, grounds, and parking lot will be CLOSED for the eclipse. Instead, we are partnering with the City of Mentor to participate in their event at Amphitheater. More details will be made available in the months and weeks ahead of the eclipse.

Wednesday, April 10—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: Music of the Civil War Era Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! This month, come learn about and enjoy performances of different music of the Civil War era! Musicians will not only discuss the period’s music but play it for you on various instruments as well! Come prepared to learn, listen, and enjoy! Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKER: Debbie Weinkamer, Lead Volunteer, James A. Garfield NHS, and others.

Saturday, April 27—2 p.m.Virtual Program: A Virtual Guided Tour of the Garfield Home Join James A. Garfield NHS staff on the fourth Saturday of each month from January-April for a free virtual program on Zoom! This month, join a Park Ranger on a virtual walk through the beautiful Garfield home here at James A. Garfield NHS. Whether you’ve been here many times or never seen the Garfield home, this virtual tour will make you feel like you’re standing inside the house! Our virtual programs are great for those who live far away or are otherwise unable to visit James A. Garfield NHS. Programs will last about 45 minutes with time for Q & A afterwards. Link for Zoom meetings provided by Mentor Public Library. E-mail jaga_interpretation@nps.gov to receive link and log-in information. SPEAKER: Allison Powell, James A. Garfield NHS.

May


Wednesday, May 8—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: Protecting Your Civil War Heirlooms Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! Do you have papers or artifacts from the Civil War that you want to preserve and protect for future generations? If so, this program is for you! Join a National Park Service Museum Curator to learn about how to properly care for and store precious papers and artifacts. Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKER: Kelsey Voit, James A. Garfield NHS.

Tuesday, May 28—7 p.m.Hillcrest Concert Band Performance on the Lawn Join us for a beautiful summer evening band concert on the lawn behind President and Mrs. Garfield’s home! We welcome the Hillcrest Concert Band to James A. Garfield National Historic Site for the first time. The expansive lawn here at James A. Garfield NHS makes for a perfect venue for an outdoor concert featuring music from different periods of American history. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, drinking water, and picnic baskets! (Alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted.) Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance and The Garfield Trail of Ohio. Free.

June


Thursday, June 6—7 p.m.University Heights Symphonic Band Performance on the Lawn Join us for a beautiful summer evening band concert on the lawn behind President and Mrs. Garfield’s home! We welcome back the University Heights Symphonic Band to James A. Garfield National Historic Site for another year! The expansive lawn here at James A. Garfield NHS makes for a perfect venue for an outdoor concert featuring music from different periods of American history. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, drinking water, and picnic baskets! (Alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted.) Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance and the Garfield Trail of Ohio. Free. Rain date: Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 12—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: Lady Against Lady: First Ladies & the Civil War Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! First Ladies Harriet Lane, Mary Lincoln, Julia Grant, and Lucy Hayes all had unique eyewitness accounts to the events before, during, and after the Civil War. Through their stories, we’ll see how this deadly American conflict over slavery impacted the women married to the men in charge. Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKER: A guest Park Ranger from First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton, Ohio.

Saturday, June 15—12 p.m.Flag Retirement Ceremony In honor of June 14’s designation as Flag Day, join members of local Boy Scout troops as they properly and respectfully retire used and unserviceable American flags. Visitors and citizens are invited to bring flags they would like to have retired or drop those flags off in our Visitor Center in the days before the ceremony. Free.

Sunday, June 16—2 p.m.Author Talk and Book Signing: C.W. Goodyear, Author of President Garfield: From Radical to Unifier C.W. Goodyear is the author of the acclaimed biography President Garfield: From Radical to Unifier, published by Simon & Schuster in July 2023. We’re thrilled to welcome him to James A. Garfield NHS for the second time to speak and sign books! He’ll speak about what sparked his interest in Garfield, what surprised him while researching the book, and more! Program is free of charge; books will be for sale in our Eastern National bookstore. Sponsored by The Garfield Trail of Ohio.

Saturday, June 22—2 p.m.Erie Heights Brass Ensemble Concert on the Lawn Join the Erie Heights Brass Ensemble on the grounds for an hour of live music! The lawn behind the Garfield home is a perfect place to enjoy live music just as the Garfield family did during the presidential campaign summer of 1880: outside under the shade of large historic trees! Feel free to bring lawn chairs, drinking water, and picnic baskets! (Alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted.) Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance and The Garfield Trail of Ohio. Free.

July


Friday, July 5—10 a.m.Naturalization Ceremony In honor of the Fourth of July, visit the site to witness dozens of individuals from nations across the globe take the oath as America’s newest citizens. The Garfield home provides an appropriate and idyllic setting for this uniquely American ceremony. This event planned in partnership with the League of Women Voters, Citizenship & Immigration Services (U.S. Department of Homeland Security), and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The public is invited to attend this uniquely American event. Free.

Saturday, July 6—7 p.m.The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival Presents “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Several of Shakespeare’s plays are found on the shelves of the Memorial Library at James A. Garfield National Historic Site. This evening, enjoy Shakespeare in the great outdoors as the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the expansive lawn behind the Garfield home! The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival is the one of the nation’s largest free outdoor Shakespearean companies! No reservations are required, and the performance is FREE. Feel free to bring lawn chairs and a picnic dinner! No alcoholic beverages permitted. For more information about the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, visit clevelandshakespeare.org. Free.

Wednesday, July 10—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: Andrew Johnson: Military Governor & Reconstruction President Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! Andrew Johnson was a southern Democrat who stayed loyal to the Union during the Civil War, and that got him placed on President Abraham Lincoln’s re-election ticket in 1864. After Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson became the 17th President of the United States. Learn more about the life, career, and legacy of this complicated figure in American history. Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKER: Alan Gephardt, James A. Garfield NHS.

Saturday, July 20—2 p.m.Lake Effect Concert Band Performance on the Lawn Join the Lake Effect Concert Band on the grounds for an hour of music from President Garfield’s era—and a few contemporary tunes for good measure! The band is familiar with many of the marches and patriotic songs of the last 130 years, and you can enjoy them just as the Garfield family might have: gathered under the shade of large historic trees. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, drinking water, and picnic baskets! (Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.) Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance and The Garfield Trail of Ohio. RAIN DATE: Saturday, July 27 at 2 p.m. Free.

Sunday, July 28—2 p.m.Lakeland Community College Civic Band Performance on the Lawn Join us for our fifth outdoor concert of the summer when the Lakeland Community College Civic Band performs on the lawn behind President and Mrs. Garfield’s home! Experience live music as it was enjoyed on the Garfield property during the summer of 1880 when Garfield ran his “front porch” presidential campaign from the home. This will be the Lakeland Civic Band’s fifth time performing here at James A. Garfield NHS! Feel free to bring lawn chairs, drinking water, and picnic baskets! (Alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted.) Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance and The Garfield Trail of Ohio. Free.

August


Saturday, August 3—7 p.m.The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival Presents “King Lear” Several of Shakespeare’s plays are found on the shelves of the Memorial Library at James A. Garfield National Historic Site. This evening, enjoy Shakespeare in the great outdoors as the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival presents King Lear on the expansive lawn behind the Garfield home! The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival is the one of the nation’s largest free outdoor Shakespearean companies! No reservations are required, and the performance is FREE. Feel free to bring lawn chairs and a picnic dinner! No alcoholic beverages permitted. For more information about the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, visit clevelandshakespeare.org. Free.

Sunday, August 11—8:30 a.m.Garfield’s Ice Cream Run 5K Race Runners from far and wide are invited to participate in Garfield’s Ice Cream Run! This race is sponsored by Second Sole of Mentor and Greater Cleveland Cross Country and will begin and end on the grounds of James A. Garfield NHS. Race participants are invited to visit the grounds and Garfield home after the race (no food or drinks allowed inside the home). Runners must register; please visit gcxcracing.com for information or to register.

Wednesday, August 14—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: Burying the Dead: The Aftermath of a Civil War Battle (Encore) Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! Civil War battles often left hundreds or thousands of wounded or dead soldiers, dead horses, and destroyed or abandoned equipment behind after the armies departed. This month, learn more about the care of the wounded and treatment and burial of the dead that often took place for months after a battle ended. Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKER: Allison Powell, James A. Garfield NHS.

Saturday, August 17—2 p.m.Great Geauga County Fair Band Performance on the Lawn Join the Great Geauga County Fair Band for the sixth and final live outdoor concert of the summer at James A. Garfield NHS! They’ll play an hour of music from President Garfield’s era—and a few contemporary tunes, too! The band plays many of the marches and patriotic songs of the last 130 years, and you can enjoy them just as the Garfield family might have: gathered under the shade of large historic trees. Feel free to bring lawn chairs, drinking water, and picnic baskets! (Alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted.) Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance and The Garfield Trail of Ohio. Free.

Saturday, August 24—11 a.m .KIDShakes: Shakespeare for Kids presented by the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival and Kulture Kids The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival and Kulture Kids present a free, outdoor, interactive, educational, abridged performance of a Shakespearean play! With music, dance, and interactive storytelling, KIDShakes will guide children and families to create a visual art costume piece, become actors traversing the outdoor settings, solve problems, and help the performers advance the story! This is a uniquely immersive, imaginatively memorable experience for children and adults alike! Please bring a blanket or chair. Free show is one hour, including preshow art activity. RAIN DATE: Sunday, Aug. 25, 11 a.m. Free.

September


Wednesday, September 11—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: Sherman’s March to the Sea (Encore) Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! Union Gen. William T. Sherman promised to “make Georgia howl” after capturing Atlanta in September 1864. What did he mean, and how did he do this on his famous “March to the Sea” in November-December of that year? Was Sherman really a “butcher” and “war criminal” as southerners called him? Find out in this presentation! Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKER: Todd Arrington, James A. Garfield NHS.

Friday, September 13—10 a.m. Naturalization Ceremony In honor of Constitution Day (Sep. 17), visit the site to witness dozens of individuals from nations across the globe take the oath as America’s newest citizens. The Garfield home provides an appropriate and idyllic setting for this uniquely American ceremony. This event planned in partnership with the League of Women Voters, Citizenship & Immigration Services (U.S. Department of Homeland Security), and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The public is invited to attend this moving event. Free.

Saturday, September 28—10 a.m.-5 p.m. National Public Lands Day National Public Lands Day is set aside each year for Americans to reflect on and celebrate national parks, fish and wildlife refuges, national forests, and other areas set aside for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. Tour the Garfield home, enjoy the museum exhibits and film, walk the grounds, and learn more than you ever thought possible about Mentor’s own President Garfield! No entrance fees charged at any National Park Service sites across the U.S. on Public Lands Day! Free.

October


Wednesday, October 9—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: The Empty Chair: Anna Ella Carroll Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! Anna Ella Carroll was a Maryland-born political activist and author who also happened to know President Abraham Lincoln. Is an allusion to her made in one of the most famous paintings of Lincoln? Find out more about her life and the empty chair that some believe is a reference to her in that famous painting! Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKER: Debbie Weinkamer, Lead Volunteer, James A. Garfield NHS.

Thursday, October 24-Saturday, October 26—6 p.m. and 8 p.m.An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe was America’s most famous writer of the macabre, and several of his works are among James and Lucretia Garfield’s book collection. Visit for three nights of special performances of several Poe stories and poems by David Keltz, America’s foremost Poe performer! This event is for those 16 years and older. Cost is $32.00/per ticket per performance. Tickets are limited, required, and can only be purchased online. They will go on sale in early September; check back then for the link. Each night will feature 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows. Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance and The Garfield Trail of Ohio.

November


Wednesday, November 13—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: Oliver O. Howard and the Freedmen’s Bureau Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! The Freedmen’s Bureau was a short-lived but critically important government agency charged with aiding formerly enslaved people after the Civil War. The Bureau helped freed people build schools, purchase land, find family members who’d been sold, and more. Learn more about this agency and its director, Union Gen. Oliver O. Howard! Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKER: Alan Gephardt, James A. Garfield NHS.

December


Saturday, December 7—6 p.m.A Winter Evening at Lawnfield with Mrs. Lucretia Garfield Join former First Lady Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (portrayed by Debbie Weinkamer) for an intimate evening as she reminisces about the Garfield family’s most cherished holiday memories and traditions. Live music, light refreshments, and a candlelight tour of the Garfield home are included in this very special holiday event. Tickets are $15.00 per person and available online in early November. Sponsored by the James A. Garfield Alliance and The Garfield Trail of Ohio.

Wednesday, December 11—12 p.m. at Mentor Public Library (8215 Mentor Avenue) Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era Series: Wartime Christmas Music (Encore) Join James A. Garfield NHS staff and volunteers at Mentor Public Library on the second Wednesday of each month for a new talk on “Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Era”! Some of our most beloved Christmas songs were inspired by wartime events. Learn about the origins of these songs and sing along to classics from the periods of the Civil War and World War II! Program is free of charge; please make a free reservation by calling Mentor Public Library at 440-255-8811. SPEAKERS: Mary Lintern and Alan Gephardt, James A. Garfield NHS.
 
 

Last updated: March 1, 2024

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8095 Mentor Avenue
Mentor, OH 44060

Phone:

440-255-8722
If your call is not answered, please leave a voicemail and we will return your call as soon as possible. You can also e-mail us at jaga_interpretation@nps.gov.

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