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. Among other activities, we invite you to watch and be inspired by a citizen naturalization ceremony. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will present candidates to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and they will pledge their Oath of Allegiance to the United States for the very first time. 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. OSV Dancers: Watch the Old Sturbridge Village Dancers demonstrate dancing in the 1830s (in the Gebhardt Performance Barn, Building #14).
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. United States Naturalization Ceremony Welcoming New American Citizens (on the Common)
12:30 OSV Singers in Concert (in 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)
3:30 p.m. Cannon Demonstration: Hear the thunderous roar of our replica cannon (in the Bixby Field, near Building #38).
3:30 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).
4:00 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)
3:30 p.m. Milking Demonstration
(at the Freeman Farm, Building #36)
10:00 a.m. Music at the Tavern: Hear a sampler of 1830s music (in the Bullard Tavern, Building #3)
3:00 p.m. An Informal Performance on the Bass Viol: Hear a performance of comical songs, and learn how one New England town used this non-secular instrument in an informal way every Fourth of July. (In the Gebhardt Barn, Building #14)
4:00 p.m. Musical Highlights, the “Hurdy Gurdy”: Listen to this strange and unusual instrument. (in the Bullard Tavern, Building #3).
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.