Posted Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
A Fourth of July weekend-long historic celebration, focusing on the vital role the Morristown area played in the American Revolution, and including music, historic tours, traditional crafts and the annual July 4th public reading of the Declaration of Independence, will be held throughout Morristown on July 3, 4, and 5.
The patriotic celebration, which is mostly free of charge, is co-sponsored by the Morris County Tourism Bureau and the Morristown National Historical Park and its partners.
This annual tradition provides residents and visitors an authentic way to celebrate American independence and to remind us that the Founding Fathers urged citizens to commemorate the day with “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
“It is important to celebrate our nation’s founding and remember the key events and sacrifices that occurred right here in Morris County,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo. “We encourage residents from throughout the county to participate in these historic and entertaining events.’’
Weekend activities kick off on Friday, July 3, with a free concert at 2 p.m. on the shaded lawn at the Ford Mansion at Morristown National Historical Park. In case of rain, the concert will be held inside Washington’s Headquarters Museum. Music will be provided by the Fifes and Drums of the Old Barracks from Trenton. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.
On July 4th, the festivities at the Presbyterian Church in Morristown will begin at 11 a.m. with patriotic music provided by The Four Old Parts barbershop quartet. Audience warm-up activities, led by costumed NPS ranger and interpreter, Eric Olsen, will begin at 11:30 a.m.
At noon, the Declaration of Independence will be read by NPS ranger, Tom Winslow, followed by a musket salute.
Guest participants will include Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty; Eileen Cameron, President of the Washington Association of New Jersey; the 2nd New Jersey Regiment, Helms’ Company; and Patricia Sanftner of the Morristown Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Free tours of the Presbyterian Church and its graveyard will be available after the reading. General George Washington visited the church in 1777 and the site boasts connections to Morristown’s Revolutionary War past. This event will highlight the critical role the Morristown area played in the Revolutionary War.
Meanwhile, activities will continue on the Morristown Green, to include family crafts, patriotic music, and a special ceremony honoring war veterans to be held around the Gold Star Mothers Tree. The program will conclude at 2 p.m. All activities on July 4th are free to the public.
On Sunday, July 5, many local historic sites will be open to the public and will feature special holiday programming.
- The Morristown National Historical Park will be open and free on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall will present a special 18th century exhibit, and also conduct walking tours to the Revolutionary-era Powder Mill that once operated nearby, from1-4 p.m.
- The Schuyler-Hamilton House (c.1760) will be open for tours from 2-4 p.m.
- Macculloch Hall Historical Museum and Gardens will be open for tours at 1 p.m. and will present a concert of bluegrass music at 4 p.m.
Sponsors of the weekend include the Washington Association of New Jersey, Normandy Real Estate Partners, and Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen. Media partners include New Jersey Monthly, Edible New Jersey and New Jersey Hills.
Consult morristourism.org for more information on Revolutionary Times Weekend 2015 activities and for a listing of local fireworks displays.
COMPLETE PROGRAM DETAILS:
July 3rd Program
Location: Morristown National Historical Park at Washington’s Headquarters
2 p.m. Free Lawn Concert – Music by The Fifes & Drums of the Old Barracks
Bring your chairs and blankets
July 4th Program
Location: Presbyterian Church in Morristown
11 a.m. Musical entertainment provided by The Four Old Parts
11:30 a.m. Crowd activities with Eric Olsen of the Morristown National Historical Park
Noon. Welcome Remarks:
• Carol Barkin, Program Coordinator, Morris County Tourism Bureau
• Leslie Bensley, Executive Director, Morris County Tourism Bureau
• Honorable Mayor Timothy P. Dougherty, Town of Morristown
• Pledge of Allegiance led by Eileen Cameron, President of theWANJ
• National Anthem led by Patricia Sanftner of the Morristown DAR
12:15 p.m. Reading of the Declaration of Independence by Tom Winslow of MNHP
Location: Morristown Green
12:45 p.m. “Feu de Joie” musket firing by the 2nd New Jersey Regiment, Helms’ Company
1 p.m. Activities:
• Arts and crafts in the center of the Morristown Green
• Musical entertainment by the Four Old Parts
• Free tours of the Presbyterian Church and colonial graveyard
1:30 p.m. Special ceremony at the Gold Star Mothers’ Tree on the Green honoring Veterans.
2 p.m. Program concludes
July 5th Activities
Acorn Hall, 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown.
Open from 1-4 p.m. Fee: $3-$6
“The Petition: The Masonic Meeting of December 27, 1779” exhibit, plus 18th Century objects from the collection and guided walking tours to the Revolutionary-era Powder Mill site. Visit: acornhall.org
Ford-Faesch House, 629 Mount Hope Road, Rockaway Township.
Open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Guides in period attire will lead tours. Park at the Tilcon parking lot. Fee: Free Visit: rockawaytownship.org/Historical.cfm
Macculloch Hall Historical Museum and Gardens, 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown.
Open from 1-4 p.m. Museum Fee: $4-$6.
The Lonely Heartstrings Bluegrass Band at 4 p.m. in the garden. Concert tickets: $10-$15. Visit: maccullochhall.org
Morristown National Historical Park
Washington’s Headquarters, Ford Mansion and Jockey Hollow Units.
Open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fee: Free. Visit: nps.gov/morr
Schuyler-Hamilton House, 5 Olyphant, Place, Morristown.
Open from 2-4 p.m. Fee: $.50-$4. Visit: njdar.org/schuyler-hamilton.html