Saturday, April 20, 2024

‘Liberty Celebration’ at the American Revolution Museum

(American Revolution Museum at Yorktown)
YORKTOWN — This Fourth of July holiday, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation is inviting the public to salute the 247th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence during its Liberty Celebration at the American Revolution Museum in Yorktown.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 4, visitors will be able enjoy interpretive programs, artillery demonstrations and learn about the challenges that faced our nation’s founders, including those who signed the Declaration of Independence, as well as those for whom the new nation’s rights of freedom and liberty did not yet apply, according to the foundation.  

Indoor and outdoor Fourth of July experiences include: 
  • Catch “Liberty Fever” — the museum’s award-winning introductory film, shown throughout the day in the main theater.
  • Discover the powerful stories behind the Declaration of Independence in an immersive gallery exhibit surrounded by signatures of this historic document’s signers. 
  • Join in the “Great American 4th of July Sing-along” led by the Cigar Box String Band, playing songs from American history that everyone knows by heart at 12:30, 2:15 and 4 p.m. Enjoy songs played on the fiddle, banjo and bones. 
  • From artillery firings to cloth-dyeing demonstrations, take part in patriotic programming with historical interpreters in outdoor re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.  
  • Experience “Virginia, 1776!” through special gallery tours at 11:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. and education programs on America’s road to independence at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. 
  • Enjoy a performance by The Fifes and Drums of York Town at 11:30 a.m. 
  • Delve into the stories of 18th-century resident John Rollison and his 21st-century descendant during a first-person portrayal by actor James Cameron with descendant Helen Casey-Rutland at noon. 
  • Share your thoughts on liberty by adding them to the “Liberty Tree,” an interactive feature on a 17-foot sculptural tree, rooted in the museum galleries. 
A full schedule of events is available at jyfmuseums.org/libertycelebration. 
(American Revolution Museum)

Living-History Experiences 

Visitors can discover daily life for 18th-century soldiers and citizens caught up in the American Revolution in life-size re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.  

At the Continental Army encampment, historical interpreters describe and depict daily routines and diverse roles of American soldiers, with demonstrations of flintlock musket and artillery firing, 18th-century surgical and medical practices, and the role of the quartermaster in managing troop supplies. Visitors can join an 18th-century artillery crew and then feel the thunder of a cannon blast as historical interpreters fire a salute to our nation’s founders during demonstrations at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., weather permitting.  

At the re-created Revolution-era farm, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., visitors can learn how farmers during the Revolution became more self-sufficient by growing and processing flax, cotton and wool for homespun cloth, and how natural dyes were produced from available materials. Historical interpreters will prepare a variety of 18th-century dishes, using historical recipes from Virginia’s earliest cookbooks, as well as foods of enslaved people and cultural influences on period dishes, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

Civic Season Activities 

As part of Civic Season, a national community engagement initiative through July 4, a variety of family-friendly activities will be held at 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. to explore the founding documents, take part in art-making sessions and share perspectives on the meaning of individual liberty.  
The Revolutionary War Museum at Yorktown (photography by Jay Rosenblatt)

Admission to Liberty Celebration  

“Liberty Celebration,” funded in part by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. Annual Fund, is included with museum admission: $18 for adults, $9 for youth ages 6-12 and free for ages 5 and under. A value-priced combination ticket with Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia, is $30 for adults and $15 for ages 6-12.
Residents of York County, James City County and the City of Williamsburg, including William & Mary students, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency. Tickets are available online or in person at both museums.
 

About the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Fourth of July in Historic Yorktown 

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and located on 200 Water Street near the Colonial Parkway in Yorktown, tells the story of the nation’s founding, capturing the transformational nature and epic scale of the Revolution and its relevance today. The museum shop and café are open during museum hours.
 
Parking at the museum is free for museum visitors. On July 4, the Yorktown Trolley will offer free shuttle service to Historic Yorktown for its Fourth of July Celebrations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
For more information about “Liberty Celebration,” visit jyfmuseums.org/libertycelebration.

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