Daily events are subject to change.
Please note daily events are subject to change and are weather permitting
Welcome to Old Sturbridge Village, a recreated 1830s rural New England town, as we celebrate American Independence. Hear a reading of the Declaration of Independence, make a thaumatrope, and learn why not all 19th-century Americans celebrated the 4th of July. Enjoy your visit!
Independence Day Programming
Throughout the day:
- Sign a giant Declaration of Independence
(at the tent near the Center Meetinghouse, Building #7)
- Excerpts from Frederick Douglass’s 1852 address, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”
(in the Friends Meetinghouse, Building #6)
- View the “New England on Parade” exhibit (in the Visitor Center (#2C), Countryside Gallery (#40), and Armed & Equipped Militia Exhibit (#26).
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Make a 4th of July Thaumatrope: The first optical toy to show “persistence of vision”, which lead to the discovery of motion pictures (in the Visitor Center demonstration space, Building #2).
10:00 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. A Reading of Patriotic Poetry:
Hear poems by 19th Century American poets (in the Towne House, Building #16).
10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. Fife and Drum Music (in the field near the District School, Building #33)
11:00 a.m. Why We Celebrate the 4th of July (in the Center Meetinghouse, Building #7)
12:30 p.m. Performance of “Declaring Independence: Then & Now”: Listen for the ringing of the Meetinghouse bell to signify the beginning of a contextualized reading of our nation’s Declaration of Independence (at the Center Meetinghouse, Building #7).
1:30 p.m. Procession of Citizens (throughout the Village)
2:00 p.m. Reading of the Declaration of Independence (in the Center Meetinghouse, Building #7)
4:00 p.m. Fife and Drum Music (on the Common)
Towne House Lower Kitchen: Making butter & soft cheese
9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. & 2:00-4:00 p.m. (Building #16)
2:00 p.m. A Tour of the Herb Garden Rose Collection: Enjoy a tour of OSV’s rose collection, and learn a bit about how roses grow, and how these treasured varieties came to be (at the Herb Garden, #32).
3:30 p.m. Milking Demonstration (at the Freeman Farm, Building #36)
10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. Music at the Tavern: Hear a sampler of 1830s music (in the Bullard Tavern, Building #3)
3:00 p.m. Parlor Music: Listen to a selection of parlor music at the Fitch House (at the Fitch House, Building #21).
4:00 p.m. Musical Highlights, the “Hurdy Gurdy”: Listen to this strange and unusual instrument (at the Bullard Tavern, Building #3).
10:30 a.m. French and English: Pick a side! Participate in a game of tug of war on the Common.
2:30 p.m. Play 19th Century Base Ball: “Play Ball” following rules adapted from The Book of Sports and other 19th century sources. (meets on the Common.
4:00 p.m. Toy Hot Air Balloon: Join us on the Common for a demonstration (or two!) of a fascinating diversion enjoyed by children in the early 1800s, a toy hot air balloon flight!
The Carryall (weather permitting)
We offer two horse-drawn carryall rides included with the price of admission. From 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. you can board behind the Bullard Tavern (#3) or in front of the Blacksmith Shop (#39) about every 20 minutes for a ride around the Mill Pond. From 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. you can board at the Asa Knight Store (#11) or the Miner Grant Store (#19) about every 45 minutes for a longer ride around the Common and Countryside.
2:30-4:00 p.m. Make a Punched Tin Ornament| $3.00 per craft
Purchase a $3.00 token for Crafts at the Visitor Center or the Miner Grant Store. Instruction by Costumed Interpreter; make an item to take home. Please note tokens are nonrefundable. Unused tokens can be redeemed on a future visit.
(in the Booth next to the Miner Grant Store)
2:00-4:00 p.m. Ride the Stagecoach|$3.00 per person.
Hundreds of stagecoaches linked most towns in early New England, carrying passengers and mail on set schedules. Today the stagecoach circles our historic common. Purchase a $3.00 token at the Visitor Center or the Miner Grant Store. Picks up outside the Bullard Tavern. Please note tokens are nonrefundable. Unused tokens can be redeemed on a future visit.
Dining & Shopping
Oliver Wight Café (Building #1)
(in the Oliver Wight Tavern Lobby)
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. pastries & beverages
Bullard Café (Building #3) (on the Ground Floor)
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. sandwiches and beverages.
Scoop Shop (Building # 25) 12:00 – 4:00 pm:
Gifford’s ice cream and cold beverages available.
Miner Grant Store & Bake Shop (Building #19)
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Stop in to buy our famous chocolate chip cookies, Joe Frogger cookies, and treats. Shop for Village-made wares, heirloom seeds, historical children’s toys and gifts, too!
Ox & Yoke Mercantile (Building #1) 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Take home a traditional rural New England treasure or locally made gift. Village-made crafts and kits, home décor, books, and more await! We stay open a bit later than the rest of the Village.