This Independence Day marks our nation’s 240th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, the Civil War Trust recommends 10 sites to visit that interpret our nation’s military history: the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Celebrate our country’s independence with one of these special events or commemorations.
July 1-4: July 4th in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Celebrate America’s 240th in the city where it all began. The weekend includes live music, fireworks shows, the Historic Philadelphia Block Party, parades and patriotic ceremonies. More information: visitphilly.com
July 2: Salute to Independence at Antietam, Sharpsburg, Maryland
Join the Maryland Symphony Orchestra for a special Independence Day commemoration. The two-hour concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with fireworks display to follow. More information: nps.gov/anti
July 2: Celebrate Independence at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland
Come to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on July 2 at 2:00 p.m. for a musical and colorful afternoon military ceremony. The free program features patriotic music, military pageantry and living history. Dressed in the uniforms of Washington’s Continental Army, the U.S Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps will play stirring fife and drum music. The Fort McHenry Guard, dressed as the 1814 Defenders of Baltimore, will also conduct musket drills. More information: nps.gov/fomc
July 2: Independence Day Artillery Programs at Chickamauga & Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
Celebrate Independence Day with a special artillery program at Point Park on Lookout Mountain. More information: nps.gov/chch
July 2-3: Fourth of July Encampment at Kings Mountain, Blacksburg, South Carolina
Backcountry Militia will be encamped this weekend at Kings Mountain National Military Park, demonstrating a variety of skills from the eighteenth century. More information: nps.gov/kimo
July 4: Independence Day Celebration at Fort McAllister, Richmond Hill, Georgia
Join Fort McAllister as they celebrate our country’s birthday and our right to be free. Watch Civil War drilling, rifle and cannon firings. Also join in sack races, egg toss, wheel barrow races and other games. You can even join in a Civil War-era baseball game! More information: gastateparks.org
July 4: Parade at Balls Bluff, Leesburg, Virginia
The Friends of Ball’s Bluff will participate in Leesburg’s 4th of July parade with a decorated float symbolizing the battle and the organization, beginning at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg. The centerpiece of the float will be one of the Ball’s Bluff cannons. Volunteers are welcome to walk along the route and help hand out candy and information. Civil War period attire is welcome. More information: novaparks.com
July 4: Independence Day Colonial Faire at Fort Morris, Midway, Georgia
Celebrate the 4th with colonial games, contests of skill, colonial music, musket firings, cannon firings and activities. Prizes will be awarded to all participants. Sponsored by the City of Flemington, Friends of Fort Morris and Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau. More information: gastateparks.org
July 4: Declaring Independence at Minute Man, Concord, Massachusetts
The fighting at North Bridge, on April 19, 1775, set the 13 British Colonies in North America on a path toward independence, which became a reality 14 months later when the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia. Join park rangers and volunteers to mark the occasion with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. More information: nps.gov/mima
July 9: 152nd Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens, Washington, D.C.
Learn about the only Civil War battle to take place in the nation’s capital. See live history demonstrations, period music, historical talks and 19th-century games and crafts. More information: dccivilwarforts.org
For more events, check the events calendar of National Park Service centennial commemorations at findyourpark.com, visit your state park website or search for museums and historic sites near you.
The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. To date, the Trust has preserved close to 43,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states. Learn more at Civilwar.org.