Looking for things to do today to help celebrate the fourth of July? Then look no further than the U.S. National Parks, many of which are hosting special events to celebrate Independence Day.
For example, Mt. Rushmore has a full schedule of activities set for the day that includes folk dancing, autographs from historical figures, music, and informational talks given by the rangers. In the evening, there will be a lighting ceremony, a film and a patriotic rendition of the national anthem. All of these events will take place in the shadow of one of the best known monuments in the world, in which four former Presidents watch over the region. (Cost: Free!)
Visitors to Morristown National Historic Park, located in New Jersey, can enjoy a live reading of the Declaration of Independence by a park ranger in a traditional historical costume. Prior to the reading, there will be stories, jokes, and riddles delivered by the staff, and an inspection of the Revolutionary era troops as well. After the reading there will be live music provided by historical balladeer Linda Russell too. (Cost: Free!)
Over in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, there will be a traditional 1860’s era celebration, with a picnic, band concerts, and patriotic speeches in honor of the founding fathers. There will also be a display of the “Wonders of the World” circa 1860 as well, and visitors can compete in the militia games in such events as tug-of-war and a water bucket brigade. (Cost: $6/car or $4/person on foot or bike)
The 4th of July is celebrated in grand style in the Colorado National Monument where they raise the flag 450 feet above the canyon floor to the top of Independence Monument, the tallest free standing rock formation in the park. That formation will be scaled by 30 rock climbers who will deliver “Old Glory” to its resting place for the day. There will also be guided walks through the park and inspirational stories told as well. (Cost: Free!)
Valley Forge National Park will have an Independence Day celebration of its own with living history demonstrations that include artillery from the Revolutionary War. Vendors will be selling hamburgers and hotdogs, and there will be plenty of games and crafts for the kids to enjoy as well. (Cost: Free!)
This is just a taste of some of the events going on in the National Parks today. Check out NPS.org to see what your favorite park has planned. Chances are, you’ll be able to celebrate the day with some fun activities.
Happy 4th of July everyone!
[Photo credit: NPS.gov]