‘Liberty Celebration’ July 4 at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
This Fourth of July, take in Liberty Celebration and salute the 246th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown offers a special lineup July 4 to mark the patriotic occasion.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can 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.
Indoors and out, enjoy these liberty experiences:
- See a rare July 1776 broadside of the Declaration of Independence duplicated in mass to spread the word of liberty from town to town featured in an immersive gallery exhibit surrounded by signatures of this famous document’s signers.
- Catch “Liberty Fever” – the museum’s introductory film, shown throughout the day in the main theater.
- Take part in patriotic programming in outdoor re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.
- 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, 2 and 3:30 p.m. Enjoy songs played on the fiddle, banjo and bones.
- “Meet John Rollison” at 12:30 and 2:15 p.m. with character interpreter James Cameron as John Rollison (c.1723-1780), a free Black man from York County, Va., who signed the Oath of Allegiance to the Patriot government in 1777 and provided supplies to Patriot militia troops and navy.
- Throughout the day, enjoy one of six 30-minute indoor presentations on the events that led to the Declaration of Independence and the people inspired by its message.
- Share your thoughts on liberty by adding them to the “Liberty Tree,” an interactive on a 17-foot sculptural tree, rooted in the museum galleries.
Artillery & Military Drills
At the Continental Army encampment, historical interpreters describe and depict daily routines of American soldiers, with demonstrations of musket and artillery firing, 18th-century surgical and medical practices, and the role of the quartermaster in managing troop supplies. In the artillery amphitheater, feel the thunder of a cannon blast as historical interpreters fire a salute to our nation’s founders during artillery demonstrations at 11 a.m., 3 and 4:30 p.m., weather permitting. At 1:30 p.m., visitors can take part in a militia drill to train as a member of the Virginia militia.
Revolution-era Farm Life
Visitors can learn how farmers during the American Revolution became more self-sufficient by growing and processing flax, cotton and wool for homespun cloth in “From Field to Fabric,” a program on the Revolution-era farm. The effort became both a necessity and a political statement of patriotism.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors can see what is cooking in the farm kitchen as historical interpreters prepare a variety of 18th-century dishes on the hearth, using historical recipes from Virginia’s earliest cookbooks, as well as foods of enslaved people and the evolution of period dishes through cultural influences. Food preparation is for demonstration purposes only.
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“Liberty Celebration,” supported in part by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. Annual Fund, is included with museum admission: $16 for adults, $8 for youth ages 6-12 and free for children under age 6. A value-priced combination ticket with Jamestown Settlement, a living-history museum of 17th-century Virginia, is $28.90 for adults and $14.45 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.
About the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, located on Route 1020 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.
Indoor gallery exhibits and films are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with living-history areas open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Gift shop and café 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 more information about “Liberty Celebration” and safety and social-distancing protocols at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, visit historyisfun.org.