Celebrate the 4th of July at the State Capitol

July 1, 2008 9:42:36 AM PDT
Pack a picnic lunch, bring the lawn chairs and blankets, and come enjoy the Independence Day holiday weekend at the State Capitol's annual patriotic celebration. A downtown Raleigh tradition, the Friday, July 4 event will take place from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and offers musical performances, historic and military displays, a crafts demonstration and several activities designed just for kids. This fun-filled family event is free and open to the public.Inside the Capitol and outside on the square, music played by the St. Mark's Jazz Band, The Huckleberry Brothers, and the Raleigh Concert Band will entertain visitors. For a break from the on-site activities, families can jump on a trolley and take a narrated ride throughout the historic downtown to view Raleigh's landmarks.

To remind us of the sacrifices made by America's military, reenactors representing army, navy and marines from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War will also participate in the celebration. As in past years, the Capitol will sponsor "Old Fashioned 4th", a series of historical demonstrations entitled highlighting how Americans celebrated past Independence Days. Here families will have a chance to try their hand at quill pen writing, sack races and much more.

At 11:45 a.m., a brief service will be held at the N.C. Vietnam Memorial to honor the memory of those who fell during that conflict and all remaining POW/MIA military personnel. At noon, a reading of Thomas Jefferson's most noble achievement, "The Declaration of Independence" will take place at the east front of the 1840 State Capitol. This presentation will be followed by the placement of flowers to mark the 1775-1781 American War for Independence and successive wars that have helped preserve America's freedoms and spread democracy and freedom world-wide. Concerts will follow the noontime ceremonies.

If you forget to bring lunch, just pick up a snack from vendors who will set up shop on the Capitol grounds. The N.C. Museum of History gift shop will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and the museum's restrooms also will be available to all attendees.

A National Historic Landmark, the N.C. State Capitol is one of the finest and best-preserved examples of the Greek Revival style of architecture in the U.S. It features a domed rotunda and state senate and house chambers, meticulously restored to their 1840 appearance. Until 1888, its granite walls housed all of North Carolina state government and the legislature met there until 1961. Today, the governor and his staff still occupy offices in the Capitol.

The State Capitol's mission is to preserve and interpret the architecture, history, and functions of the 1840 Capitol building and Union Square where it is located. Located in downtown Raleigh, the State Capitol is bounded by Edenton, Salisbury, Morgan and Wilmington Streets. Free parking is available in state lots near the Capitol. For more information on the July 4th program or the State Capitol itself, call (919) 733-4994 or go to http://www.nchistoricsites.org/capitol/default.htm.


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