"It's Revolutionary!" Kicks Off July 4 at Colonial Historic Sites

A Revolutionary War re-enactor cheers with kids
Raleigh

July 4 is the kick off for "It's Revolutionary!" a two year observance of the importance of North Carolina's Revolutionary and colonial era state historic sites in America's freedom story. From ousting a colonial governor in New Bern to calling for freedom from England in Halifax, North Carolina has played a pivotal role in the move to independence for the Unites States.

From July 4, 2015, to July 4, 2017, nine state historic sites and the State Archives will share programming to celebrate this history. The observance will include more than 20 events including Halifax Muster Days in September and a re-enactment of the Battle of Alamance at Alamance Battleground in 2016.

Tryon Palace, Historic Halifax and the State Capitol will launch "It's Revolutionary!" with games, crafts, music and fireworks July 4. Many family friendly free events await visitors.

"North Carolina was at the forefront in the call for freedom and the establishment of an independent United States," observes Deputy Secretary Kevin Cherry, N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. "We will honor that past and celebrate our role in the creation of this nation and with rare displays of early documents from our State Archives at historic sites during certain special events."

Tryon Palace was home to Royal Governor William Tryon, who was succeeded by Royal Governor Josiah Martin. As the fervor for independence grew, Martin fled Tryon Palace in the dark of night in May 1775. To celebrate independence this July 4, the Tryon Palace Fife and Drum Corps will play, the Declaration of Independence will be read on the steps, and crafts and games, garden tours all will be available in a free program.

Less than a year later in a meeting of the Fourth Provincial Congress in Halifax, North Carolina authorized her delegates to vote for independence at the Continental Congress. North Carolina was the first colony to formally call for a vote for independence through the Halifax Resolves. Historic Halifax will celebrate July 4 with tours of the historic Burgess Law Office, Eagle Tavern, Sally-Billy Plantation house and other structures. In addition to music and entertainment, the town will have fireworks at night.

Raleigh became home to the State Capitol where a building was completed in 1794, after colonial capitols in Edenton and New Bern. The present building was completed in 1840, and housed all of state government until 1888. For its July 4 celebration the Capitol will host several bands, reading of the Declaration of Independence, offer military displays, carriage or trolley rides, games and activities, and host a naturalization ceremony for new citizens in a free program. Food vendors will also attend.

"We honor North Carolina's role in the story of independence every day at eight historic venues dedicated to colonial history and early settlement of North Carolina and the nation," explains N.C. Division of State Historic Sites Director Keith Hardison. "We are proud to pay tribute to 240 years of American freedom."     

For additional information please call (919) 807-7389. The Division of State Historic Sites and the State Archives are within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. Learn more about the initiative at http://www.ncdcr.gov/revolutionary

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