The General Henry Knox Museum has announced some changes and additions to its calendar of tours, special events and programming for the 2013 season. With a freshly minted motto of Community First, the staff has been busy planning a series of festival-style community events to take place on the grounds of Montpelier this year, beginning with the second annual Memorial Day weekend Boots on the Ground honoring America’s veterans and active military personnel and their families. On Saturday, May 25, at 11 a.m., Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Peter W. Ogden, Maine State Director of Veterans’ Affairs, will give the keynote address and Montpelier will open for tours.

In June, the museum inaugurates its two-day Midsummer at the Museum, celebrating the summer solstice Friday, June 21, with a pig roast, bonfire, band and fireworks; and on Saturday, June 22, welcoming members of South Thomaston’s Finnish Heritage House to celebrate their annual midsummer Juhannus picnic at Montpelier and share their recipes and heritage with the greater community. Also on June 21, at 8 p.m. in Montpelier’s Oval Room, Northport Music Theater will presents Songs from The Spitfire Grill, a sneak peek of the music from its July main stage production. On June 25, Maine Friends of Music will perform their annual chamber concert in the Oval Room.

On July 10, funding from Maine Humanities Council will bring Nancy Stuart Rubin to speak about and sign her new book, “Defiant Brides, The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married,” a double biography about the wives of Henry Knox and Benedict Arnold. On July 20, the Knox Museum partners with Thomaston Historical Society to celebrate Henry Knox’s birthday, first with a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at his gravesite in Village Cemetery in Thomaston, followed at 11 a.m. with the Lady Knox Hat Parade Contest, lunch and a big birthday bash for children of all ages on the grounds of Montpelier.

On Aug. 8, the museum will host its major annual fundraiser with noted guest speaker David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, speaking at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, followed by a gala dinner event. Two days later, on Saturday, Aug. 10, the museum will present Knoxfest 2013 featuring Steelin’ Thunder community steel drum band, a chicken barbeque, ice cream social and outdoor PG-rated movie about George Washington and Henry Knox crossing the Delaware that will be projected on one of Montpelier’s exterior walls.

Planning for seatings At Henry’s Table in September and October to experience an historic dinner as it would have been prepared and enjoyed at 18th-century Montpelier is currently underway. Also in October, the museum will celebrates Harvest Weekend, kicking off Saturday, Oct. 12, with another new event, Taste of Thomaston, a food and wine festival highlighting local farmers, vintners, chefs and all things food and foodie. On Dec. 7 and 8, the museum will celebrate its traditional holiday open house with historically decorated rooms, musical entertainment and refreshments for all.

Montpelier will be open for tours regularly from Memorial Day to Columbus Day on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as on days when special community events are scheduled. This year’s special photo exhibit, “Tillman Crane & Friends – A Day in the Life of Montpelier,” will be available for viewing and included in the price of admission beginning June 7 and for the rest of the season.

Museum admission will be $10; $8 for senior citizens and AAA members; $4 for children age 5 to 13, free for those younger; and a flat family rate of $20. Montpelier is a Blue Star Museum and offers free admission to active military families with Military ID all season long. For specific times and program details, visit knoxmuseum.org.

The Knox Museum also announces that its new website, currently under construction by Pica Design , is scheduled to debut on Aug. 1. And effective June 1, J. David Farmer, Chairman of the Board, will assume the role and duties of Interim Executive Director, relieving Howard P. Lowell, who has held the position since Executive Director Ellen Dyer retired in October 2012. David and his wife Pat have been Knox Museum members since 2009; David also serves as Director of Exhibitions at Dahesh Museum of Art in New York. A search for a permanent executive director is expected at a later date.

For more information about the museum and its programs, call 354-8062 or email info@knoxmuseum.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.