Delaware’s First State Heritage Park, an urban park without boundaries, has prepared a grand Independence Day Celebration in Dover, a city that has been the home of the state capitol since 1777. In collaboration with the City’s Fourth of July Celebration, the State Parks are offering a variety of high quality, lively programs and activities that are free. There are historic exhibits and tours throughout the day, the American legion parade, hours of musical performances on Legislative Mall, and children’s activities. It all leads to an exciting fireworks finish over the capitol after dark.
If history is what you enjoy, tag along on one of the walks with Delaware’s heroes from the Revolution. Visitors stroll with historical interpreters to graves of Dover’s Revolutionary War leaders and to places where they once lived on the Green. Along the way, the crowd encounters some of these characters and listens to their stories about Tories, Whigs, the militia, and insurrection! Dover was a hotbed of revolutionary and loyalist activity during the struggle for American Independence so hear about it from eyewitnesses.
Another walking tour explores slavery and freedom. The Dover Green was a place where free and enslaved men and women lived out their lives, where national decisions regarding slavery were debated and where a brave group of runaways known as the Dover Eight made a daring escape from the Dover jail. Learn about Dover’s complicated positions regarding freedom and slavery, and its role as a border state during the Civil War with costumed tour guides from the past.
In between these programs relive the excitement of July 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was first read to the citizens of Dover and visit with Caesar Rodney for a living history performance.
While some folks are following the historical characters along the colonial streets and through the old burial grounds, activities on the Legislative Mall will be picking up. There’s music, food vendors and crafts. Performing on the Legislative Mall stage, The Delaware National Guard Band will finish its show shortly about 9:15 p.m. with Tchaikovsky’s exciting “Overture 1812” – complete with cannons – leading into the fireworks. The fireworks show begins around 9:20 p.m. as the pyrotechnics show accompanied with music explodes in the July night sky.
Dover promises a grand day for celebrating the nation’s independence in style.
For complete details and schedule visit these two sites