Celebrate America’s 236th birthday in historic Germantown

Join your neighbors in saying “Happy 236th Birthday” to our nation in Germantown this Independence Day. The annual “Fourth of July in Historic Germantown” neighborhood festival will be held on Wednesday, July 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature guided tours, historical re-enactments, a bell-ringing ceremony, as well as arts and crafts.

Visitors can celebrate at five historical Germantown sites including Stenton, Hood Cemetery, Cliveden of the National Trust, Concord School & Upper Burying Ground and the Johnson House. 

The free event will include live music with family-friendly crafts from ice cream-making to patriotic crafting sessions.

“Germantown has been home to freedom-seekers for over 300 years, from the Revolutionary War and the struggle against slavery to the migration of people from politically or economically oppressive circumstances,” says Barbara Hogue, executive director of Historic Germantown. “So naturally, it is one of the best places in America to celebrate the Fourth of July. Best of all, it’s completely free for all to take part.”

Here’s a look at the festival schedule

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tour Hood Cemetery, located at 4901 Germantown Avenue, which was formerly called the Lower Burying Ground. Hood was founded in 1692 and is the resting place of 41 Revolutionary War soldiers.

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Attend an “Old-Fashioned July 4th Celebration at Stenton,” located at 4601 N. 18th Street. On the historic grounds of Stenton, one of the most authentic of Philadelphia’s historic houses, families are invited to enjoy hot dogs and make-your-own ice cream; create an American flag-themed fan and play Colonial games; mingle with Benjamin Franklin; and listen to music by the Run of the Mill String Band.

Noon to 4 p.m.

View an exhibition and tour Cliveden of the National Trust, located at 6401 Germantown Avenue. Visitors are invited to explore Philadelphia’s only Revolutionary War battle site, Cliveden of the National Trust. Visit the brand new exhibition, “Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness?” and tour the house and newly opened servants’ quarters.

Noon to 4 p.m.

Attend the “Bell Ringing Ceremony” at the Concord School & Upper Burying Ground, located at 6309 Germantown Avenue. In addition to tours, the Concord School & Upper Burying Ground will host its eighth annual “Bell Ringing Ceremony” at 2 p.m. A tradition that began in the 18th century and was revived in 2005, the bell ringing commemorates America’s enduring freedom by tolling one peal for each year of the nation’s independence since 1776.

Noon to 4 p.m.

View a historical re-enactment at the Johnson House, located at 6306 Germantown Avenue. A historical performance by Oney Judge at 2:30 p.m. accompanies tours of this surviving Underground Railroad Station.

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