Free Daytime Admission for Kids;
New Citizen Ceremony;
Evening Fireworks over the Countryside
STURBRIDGE – As part of its July 4th celebration, Old Sturbridge Village is offering free daytime admission to children age 17 and under when accompanied by an adult paying full price. After daytime events end at 5:00 p.m., the museum will close and reopen from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. for a separate fireworks program that includes food, music, and entertainment capped off by a spectacular 30-minute fireworks display over the Village countryside. People who purchase fireworks tickets in advance of July 1 get discounted prices: $10 for OSV Members and $14 for non-members. After July 1, all fireworks tickets will be $16. Both day and evening events are sponsored by Country Bank. For times and details: 800-SEE-1830; www.osv.org.
Independence Day Activities
In addition to free admission for children, Old Sturbridge Village offers July 4th daytime visitors a chance to take part in a citizens’ parade, play 19th-century style “base ball,” march with the militia, and sign their “John Hancocks” on a giant copy of the Declaration of Independence. Food and beverages, including beer and wine, will be available for purchase and visitors can enjoy a picnic on the Common.
Fife and drum music will be played throughout the day, and at 11:00 a.m. a naturalization ceremony will take place on the OSV Common. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will present scores of 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. Old Sturbridge Village Singers will perform patriotic songs during the ceremony.
Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is one of the largest living history museums in the country. The museum is open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. OSV offers free parking and a free return visit within 10 days. Admission: $24; seniors $22. Children age 17 and under get free daytime admission during July and August when accompanied by an adult paying full price admission. The offer is limited to five children per on adult. Details: www.osv.org; 800-SEE-1830.
July 4th Evening Festivities
After daytime events conclude, the Village will reopen from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. for the evening fireworks display at dusk, preceded by several hours of music, magic, and family entertainment. Children can take part in sack races and pie-eating contests, and visitors can enjoy Lucky Bob the Comedic Juggler, magician Robert Olson, Blackstone Valley Bluegrass Band, fife and drum music, musket salutes by the Sturbridge Militia, and an historical reading of the Declaration of Independence by State Senator Stephen Brewer.
The Old Sturbridge Village setting is ideal for fireworks because there is no distracting “light pollution.” As an 1830s-style farm village, OSV has no street lights and traffic lights, so the fireworks appear even more vibrant. The fireworks show is one of the largest in the region, and has sold out in previous years.
Guests can enjoy a July 4th buffet at the Village’s Oliver Wight Tavern from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. and beer, wine, sandwiches, snacks, and soft drinks will be on sale throughout the evening for those who want to picnic. Parking is free and tickets for the fireworks show are separate from daytime admission. Fireworks tickets purchased before July 1 are $14 per person/$10 for OSV Members (children 2 and under are free). The fireworks show is sponsored by Country Bank. Details: 800-SEE-1830; www.osv.org.
Did you know?
July 4th Historical Tidbits
- Independence Day was one of America’s three biggest holidays in the early 1800s. The other two big holidays: Thanksgiving and George Washington’s birthday.
- When the hated Stamp Act was repealed in 1766, Boston’s celebration included lanterns, bells, flags, and music. John Hancock illuminated his house and discharged fireworks from a stage in front of it.
- About 1,000 years ago the Chinese invented gunpowder and with it – fireworks.
- Metallic compounds added to fireworks produce brighter colors. Sodium nitrate makes a dazzling yellow; strontium chloride a vibrant red; barium chloride a true green; and copper chloride a deep blue.