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Friday, July 1, 2011

Fourth of July Activities


Smithsonian Folk Life Festival on the Mall June 30–July 4 and
July 7–11, 2011 highlighting the country of Columbia and the Peace Corps 50th anniversary celebration.The Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums. There is no admission charge. Visitors should dress for hot and humid weather. Parking around the Mall is extremely limited, so visitors are advised to use Metrorail. The Smithsonian station (Mall exit) is at the Festival site. Federal Triangle and National Archives stations are close by. For general Smithsonian visitor information, call 202.633.1000 

MOUNT VERNON, Fourth Celebration--Historic Mount Vernon, the home of our first commander-in-chief who led American troops to victory in the country’s fight for independence, will celebrate George Washington’s contribution to America’s freedom on July 4th with its annual event An American Celebration. The day will feature military reenactments, a musical performance by the National Concert Band of America, a special wreathlaying ceremony, free birthday cake for all (while supplies last), and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” All events are included in regular Estate admission: adults, $13.00; children ages 6-11, $6.00; and children under 5 are admitted free.
All day:     “General and Mrs. Washington” will be on hand to greet and take photographs with visitors. A heightened 18th-century military presence with multiple “checkpoints” will be in effect around the estate.
9:45 a.m:    Re-enactors from the Maryland Militia and First Virginia Regiment assemble for inspection by “General Washington” on the Bowling Green, where the Declaration of Independence will be read. At this time, Mount Vernon’s all-American birthday cake will be offered to visitors (while supplies last).
10:00 a.m:   Visitors are encouraged to join the George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) in a procession to George Washington’s Tomb at 10:00 a.m. for a special wreathlaying ceremony.
11:00 a.m:   The annual Red, White and Blue Concert takes place at 11:00 a.m. on the Bowling Green, featuring patriotic favorites by the Concert Band of America, an 80-member company of retired musicians from each of the United States Armed Services’ bands.
1:00 p.m:    Revolutionary War military demonstrations by the Maryland Militia and First Virginia Regiment take place on the Bowling Green.
Summer Farm Life: July has always been a time of celebration at George Washington’s farm as it marks the beginning of the wheat harvest season. To celebrate Washington the farmer, field hands will kick-off the season on Independence Day with wheat-treading demonstrations at the George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site. Costumed staff will lead Mount Vernon’s horses as they tread wheat in the 16-sided barn at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. Visitors can witness Washington’s innovative treading process, learning first-hand how Washington separated grain from straw.
Special Milling Demonstrations: Throughout the day at George Washington’s Gristmill millers will work the automated milling system, an intricate system of pullies and levers that won U.S. Patent #3. Watch as water from Dogue Creek goes through the Gristmill, setting the massive gears into motion, and see the end result: cornmeal ready to use in the kitchen! Admission to George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, located three miles from the estate on Route 235, is $4 for adults and $2 children. Children under 5 are admitted free.

Columbia celebrates the fourth of July with a family fireworks extravaganza around 9:30 along the Columbia Lakefront. The event is sponsored by the Howard County Government with support from the Columbia Association. Entertainment includes live bands on 2 stages and a variety of children’s entertainment. Bring blankets, chairs and a picnic. Food will be for sale onsite.

The Inner Harbor in Baltimore puts on a July 4th fireworks show for the ages starting around 9:30. The harbor is bustling with events and activities, and the fireworks show over the water always is spectacular.

Finally we have a choice of parades. DC has their big parade. A local tradition is the Catonsville Fourth of July parade.  Local residents put out lawn chairs starting on Sunday to reserve the best viewing spots for the parade on Monday.  If you know anyone from Catonsville you know this is a big event. In Columbia we have the Longfellow and Riverhill parades on the 4th.

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