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Celebrate the 245th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence with some good old-fashioned fun at Thomas Jefferson’s Bedford County retreat. Enjoy colonial-style entertainment, demonstrations by colonial artisans and craftspeople, archaeological displays, old-fashioned games, pony rides, a reading of the Declaration of Independence and more! Grounds admission to Independence Day festivities is $10 for adults (ages 16+); children 15 and under are free. Guided tours of the octagonal villa are available for an additional fee the day of the event on a first come, first served basis.
Living History Schedule:
- “The House That John Built”:The Life and Work of the Enslaved Master Craftsman John Hemmings by Supervisor Restoration Craftsman CJ Frost at 11:30am and 3:00pm
- Musical performances by Pete and Ellen Vigour at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm
- Enslaved Community Talks at 12:15pm and 2:15pm
- Jonathan Austin, 18th Century Magician at 11:15am, 12:30pm and 2:15pm
- Brick Making Demonstrations at 11:00am, 12:15pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm
- Slave Quarter Site Living History African American folktales, work songs and storytelling by Dylan Pritchett at 12:30pm and 3:30pm
- “After It’s Read: 45 Years and Counting.” Interpreters Bill Barker and Dylan Pritchett explore what the Declaration meant to people 200 years ago and the legacy of the document today at 11:30am and 2:30pm
- Handmade History, Historical Activities and Demonstrations at 11:15am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm
- Colonial Period Entertainment by Common Stock will be ongoing throughout the event.
- Spinning and weaving demonstrations throughout the event by Dawn Doss and Mauna Hair
- Colonial games (rolling hoops, game of graces, scavenger hunts) will be ongoing throughout the event
Reading of the Declaration Ceremony at 1:30pm
- Welcome from Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest President and CEO Alyson Ramsey
- Posting of the Colors by American Legion Post #54
- Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem by Benjamin, Leah, Rebekah, and Abigale Jackson
- Reading of the Declaration by Thomas Jefferson
- El Cabrito’s
- Upper Crust Pizza
- Kona Ice of Lynchburg
Note: Advanced ticket sales will turn off at 5 p.m. July 3rd. Admission will be available on site all day on July 4th.