Old Sturbridge Village continues its popular July 4th tradition of historic Independence Day activities and a separate evening program of music, magic, and family games –- capped off by a spectacular 30-minute fireworks display over the Village’s farm fields. After daytime activities end at 5:00 p.m., OSV will close and reopen from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. for the evening program, sponsored by Country Bank. Activities include sack races, pie-eating contests, juggling with Lucky Bob the Comedic Juggler, magic shows by Robert Olson, music by the Heritage String Band, and a “Patriotic Fashion Contest” with a prize for the person sporting the most patriotic look.
Guests can bring their own picnics or enjoy a July 4th buffet at the Village’s Oliver Wight Tavern from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. Beer, wine, sandwiches, snacks, and soft drinks will be on sale throughout the evening. Parking is free and tickets for the fireworks show are separate from daytime museum admission. Fireworks tickets purchased before July 1 are $12 per person (children under 3 are free). Beginning July 1, tickets are $15 per person. Rain date for the fireworks event is July 5. For all times and details: 800-733-1830; www.osv.org.
The Old Sturbridge Village fireworks event has event sold out for the last two years, with more than 4,000 people attending last year in addition to some 3,000 visitors who enjoyed the daytime festivities. Last year visitors came from as far away as England, France, Ireland, Japan, and California.
Fife and drum music, militia marching, and readings of the Declaration of Independence will be presented during both day and evening festivities. During the day, visitors can also sign a giant copy of the Declaration and take part in a citizens’ parade and play old-fashioned base ball. The evening fireworks display will again be produced by Atlas Pyrovision Productions of Jaffrey, NH, which has mounted fireworks shows in Washington, D.C., Boston, -- on the Charles River and Boston Common –- and in other locations around the region.
Old Sturbridge Village is ideal for fireworks because as an 1830s-style rural village, it has no “light pollution” from street lights and traffic. “The dark night sky is a wonderful canvas for the fireworks, and makes the colors even more vibrant,” notes Jim O’Brien, OSV coordinator of special events.
A fireworks show also fits well with the early 19th-century time period Old Sturbridge Village portrays -– a time when larger cities like Philadelphia and Boston often celebrated special events with skyrocket displays. Fireworks were invented in China about a thousand years ago, and became popular in Europe by the 1200s. In the 1830s, Italian pyrotechnicians began adding artificial metallic compounds to fireworks to produce brilliant yellow, red, blue and green colors.
Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is open daily 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. Admission: $20; seniors, $18; children 3-17, $7; children under 3, free. For information: 1-800-733-1830; www.osv.org.