Thousands attend American Village’s Independence Day celebration

Published 2:29 pm Friday, July 8, 2022

By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – An Independence Day celebration replete with historical figures, re-enactments and nighttime fireworks drew numerous visitors to the American Village on Monday, July 4.

More than 5,000 people celebrated the country’s 246th birthday at “Independence Day 1776,” the American Village’s daylong event featuring patriotic activities for all ages.

“Everything was absolutely wonderful,” American Village Communications Officer Melanie Poole said. “It was the smoothest Independence Day celebration to date.”

More than 120 volunteers joined the Village’s staff in carrying out many programs and activities throughout the day.

Costumed historical interpreters portrayed influential figures like George and Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Phillis Wheatley, Patrick Henry, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander and Eliza Hamilton in 15- to 30-minute programs.

Reenactments, music and entertainment also kept visitors engaged.

The lineup included 1st Pennsylvania Regiment Continental Army Reenactors, Voices of the Past, 1st Hamilton Legion, Colonial Games on the Green, The Liberty Tree: A Young Lady’s Account of Revolutionary Boston and the Alabama Wildlife Center’s release of a rehabilitated red-tailed hawk.

The Ain’t Misbehavin’ Band treated listeners to the classic sounds of the Glenn Miller era.

In addition, music played throughout the day in the canteen area for veterans.

The Colonial Consort ­played woodwind music in the Colonial Chapel, and JQ’s One Man Swing Band presented a swing music show in the Barn.

The Independence Ball, a celebration in dance, music and song, was held in Liberty Hall.

Artisans from Alabama and Georgia were onsite, demonstrating their crafts and selling items.

Children’s activities included a cornhole toss, selfies with Uncle Sam, signing America’s founding documents, face painting, playing Jenga, trying the Hula-Hoop, coloring patriotic pages, creating sidewalk art and visiting with farm animals at the Tickled Pink Petting Zoo.

Visitors also had the opportunity to tour the Randall Museum, Oval Office, National Veterans Shrine and the West Wing of Independence Hall.

The Main Stage Evening Program started with a game show called “Choose Your George” and was followed by Thomas Jefferson reading the Declaration of Independence, the Montevallo Community Band’s patriotic musical prelude and Washington’s prayer for the country.

At “twilight’s last gleaming,” fireworks presented by Southern Sky illuminated the night sky.

Summer fun will continue at the American Village through the end of July. The Village’s annual summer program, Celebrate America, will be held Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through July 30. Admission is $5.

For more information and updates, visit Americanvillage.org.