Independence Day Celebration
July 4, 2012
Celebrate July 4th in 18th-century style!
On the Fourth of July at Poplar Forest, escape our wired world and discover Thomas Jefferson’s era—as you celebrate the true meaning of this special day. Poplar Forest’s grounds will be filled with fun for every age from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A special ceremony at 1:30 will feature Thomas Jefferson’s stirring words as the Declaration of Independence is read from Thomas Jefferson’s own back porch.
Children can experience 18th century life first-hand by doing militia drills with the costumed military interpreters, writing with a quill pen, and playing games like stick horse races, rolling hoops, bowling, ball-and-cup, and tug of war. Plus there will be pony rides and face-painting.
Featured on the grounds will be:
• A display of courage (and comedy) by Otto the Sword Swallower;
• Signora Bella’s always popular comedic balancing acts, juggling, and slack-rope walking as she demonstrates the art of the 19th century Italian street performer;
• A magic show and hilarious routines by colonial conjurer Levram the Great, with his special guest, Rupert the Dove;
• Musical favorites from the Jefferson era courtesy of Riddle on the Harp and The McKenzies;
• Patriotic music by High Cotton Barbershop Quartet;
• A costumed story teller presenting African folk tales;
• Costumed craftspeople demonstrating Jefferson-era crafts—including a potter shaping his wares on a potter’s wheel, traditional blacksmithing, a silversmith, lace-making, spinning, and soap-making;
• A Native American craft demonstration;
• A hand-crafted reproduction of the kind of batteau that took Jefferson’s crops to market via the James River.
Visitors can discover the medical treatments and practices used in Jefferson’s Virginia from a costumed interpreter portraying an 18th century “physick” and dentist; visit Jefferson’s kitchen to learn from hearth-cooking interpreters about the cooking methods used in Jefferson’s very modern kitchen; see the archaeological excavations in progress at Poplar Forest, and try their hand at the archaeological technique of cross-mending.
Food vendors will be available on the grounds for picnic fare.
Gates will open at 11 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. Tours of Jefferson’s retreat house will also be available for a reduced rate and offered at scheduled times throughout the day.
Admission: $8.00 for adult. 15 and under Free
Reduced rates for house tours – reservations recommended as soon as you arrive on the grounds.
There is a special fee for face-painting
Poplar Forest is indebted to the following sponsors for their support of this special event