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Old Sturbridge Village, Independence Day
July 2, 2021 - July 4, 2021
Welcoming New Citizens
On July 2nd only, watch and be inspired by a citizen naturalization ceremony on the Village common. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will present candidates to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and they will pledge their Oath of Allegiance to the United States for the very first time.
Firing the Cannon
An exciting feature of the Independence Day festivities is the firing of our reproduction cannon. There were 46 militia units armed with cannons in Massachusetts in the 1830s and one of them was located in here in Sturbridge. These units fired their cannons on militia training days and during celebrations, like the 4th of July. Our cannon has a cast iron barrel and is mounted on a carriage made by Village artisans.
“Declaring Independence” Returns
Two times during the day, six costumed interpreters will render the words of the Declaration line by line, assisted by a narrator who sets these words in their rich historical context. Some lines will be familiar to all; others – especially the many grievances that justified altering an ancient government – will receive background and commentary. As the re-enactors dramatize these 18th-century words and ideas, the narrator will draw out their meaning and challenge the audience to consider their relevance and power for today.
“Declaring Independence” is part of a multi-year joint initiative of Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and the American Antiquarian Society to engage citizens in the ideas and transformative potential of the Declaration of Independence. This initiative includes researching the ways in which independence was conceived and debated within colonial communities in the years leading up to 1776; tracing how the Declaration’s role evolved in American communities; and considering the challenges and potential of this living document for Americans today.
Cost: Included with standard daytime admission or Village membership. Please make sure to reserve/purchase tickets before arriving! Standard daytime admission is $28 for adults, $26 for seniors (55+), $14 for youth (4-17), $14 for college students (with a valid college ID), and free for children 3 and under.