One of my most patriotic 4th of Julys was spent at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachussets two years ago. Old Sturbridge Village is a living history museum that is an entire rural New England town set in the time period 1790 to 1840. Even though the buildings look original, several are reconstructions, but honestly, you won’t be able to tell the difference. All are situated just as they might have looked way back when. My favorites are the buildings where crafts people make their wares like candles and tin lanterns. There is also a working farm that follows the seasons. The whole place has the aura of a time warp since the people who work there are in period costumes and talk to visitors as if they are living way back when. Here’s the on-line tour that highlights the buildings and their purpose.
On the 4th of July, in addition to walking around the town to take in the various homes, business establishments, and the school house, you can gather at the village commons to hear the Declaration of Independence being read by a person dressed like a government official. My experience with the Declaration of Independence before this was reading it in some social studies textbook with a quiz attached. This way was much better. The reading was only part of the day’s activities. There was baseball game, crafts, a fife and drum band that marched around the commons and a hot air balloon.