The Clermont State Historic Site in Germantown is set to host a Old-Fashioned Independence Day Festival on July 4th, from 2 to 10 pm.
In honor of Clermont’s important Revolutionary War history, Clermont staff and volunteers will be dressed in historic costume while they demonstrate the skills and chores of 18th century life.
Visitors can visit with Clermont’s most famous matriarch, Margaret Beekman Livingston, for a polite tea party, or watch a seamstress at work. Children can try on historic costumes or try their hand at a period inspired craft. Storyteller Tom Hanford will offer a children’s interactive musical experience, including richly-painted puppets and opportunities for children to participate on stage.
From 2 to 6 pm, the museum will be surrounded by hands-on experiences taken from daily life of the 18th century. Visitors will be able to sample all kinds of activities and games, meet George and Martha Washington (and his horse), see a musket firing demonstration by Revolutionary War reenactors and learn the language of fans. Afterward, from 7 to 10 pm, the grounds will be alive with live music, until the evening is capped off with a view of the Saugerties fireworks over the Hudson River. It’s a full day of activities for only $12 per vehicle or $10 for Friends of Clermont.
The short play “To Be So Confined” will be back again this year for two performances. “To Be So Confined” tells the tale of two enslaved men who are working as coopers for one of the large landholding families in the 18th century Hudson River Valley.
There will be an open house in the mansion (included with event admission), from 2 to 6 pm, Children’s contests throughout the day will include a three-legged race, cherry pit spitting, and Grinning for Cheese. A live reading of the Declaration of Independence at 6 pm will complete the 18th century demonstration.
When evening arrives, Clermont’s grounds will be alive with the classic rock stylings of The Willie Amrod Band. Guests can spread out their picnic blankets to await a spectacular view of the Saugerties fireworks after sunset. With hot food close at hand by the Lunch Box and Yummy Kitchen Food Trucks, ice cream from Sweet Central Express, plenty of room to run, and easy-out parking, this is a great family event. Music begins at 7 pm. The site will close its gates when parking is full, so the public is encouraged to come early to ensure access to a spot.
For more information, call (518) 537-4240.
Photo of Clermont State Historic Site courtesy Wikimedia user Dmadeo.