Old Sturbridge Village kicks off busy Independence Day weekend

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STURBRIDGE, Mass. – This weekend, Old Sturbridge Village celebrates Independence Day with a full slate of events honoring America’s history.

The celebration includes a traditional reading of the Declaration of Independence, and this year it came with a reminder of the importance of defending those rights 246 years later.

“The growing threat of authoritarianism in our country is palpable,” said a speaker before the restitution. “It is up to each of us to safeguard our democracy. We can start by exercising our right to vote and ensuring that everyone in America has equal access to the ballot box.”

This weekend, visitors can also hear excerpts from Frederick Douglass’ 1852 speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

On Monday, director of interpretations Rhys Simmons said dozens of people will arrive at Old Sturbridge Village to mark a milestone in their own history.

“This year we’re going to have somewhere north of 100 new citizens sworn in as new citizens of the United States, which is a wonderful ceremony that we’ve been fortunate enough to have for the last ten years or so,” he said. Simmons said.

Simmons said July 4 is usually the busiest day of the year in Old Sturbridge Village, and while Saturday’s weather made for a calmer afternoon, he expects Monday to bring a another busy crowd.

“We’ve become a tradition for so many families, but we also love these new visitors looking to make it a tradition,” Simmons said. “Hopefully we’ll get both groups involved and provide a fun, engaging, and educational opportunity for them to celebrate the fourth.”

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