Old Salem Museums & Gardens to Present Independence Day Celebrations July 4 and 5

Naturalization Ceremony to be
Held at 10 a.m. on July 4

"Old Salem Museums & Gardens will celebrate Independence Day with two days of fun activities for the whole family. Events will take place on July 4 and 5, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. throughout the historic district.

The Independence Day celebration on July 4 will include a Naturalization Ceremony at 10 a.m. The Ceremony will last until 11 a.m. and will take place on Salem Square at S. Main Street and Academy Street. The Ceremony will be conducted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services staff and will take place on the same spot where the first official July 4th celebration in the U.S. took place in Salem in 1783.  This will be the fourth year that Old Salem has hosted a Naturalization Ceremony. There will be special music, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the most moving and inspiring part of the event will be the administration of the Oath of Allegiance and the presentation of certificates to the new citizens. Additionally, there will be speeches by several dignitaries, including a keynote address by Dr. Ajay Patel, Professor and GMAC Chair in Finance, School of Business and Director, Center for Enterprise Research and Education at Wake Forest University.  The Naturalization Ceremony is free and open to the public.

Another special event will also take place on July 4. The Revolutionary war ended with the Preliminary Treaty of Peace in Paris on January 20, 1783. North Carolina Governor, Alexander Martin, made the official announcement to the NC General Assembly on April 19 and the Assembly instructed the Governor to designate July 4th as a day of public thanksgiving. Only the Moravians heeded this directive and thus, their celebration of peace on July 4, 1783, is the earliest documented celebration of Independence Day in the United States.  For this celebration, Salem’s composer, Johann Friedrich Peter, compiled the Psalm of Joy, which was sung during a Lovefeast service at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. On July 4, 2014, this service with a Lovefeast will be recreated in Home Moravian Church at 2 p.m. by the Moramus Chorale and Orchestra and organ, Jayson Snipes, Music Director. It is free and open to the public.

Additional events and activities planned for the ticketed Independence Day Celebration on July 4 include:

- Special presentation by Home Moravian Church on the Square (8:30 a.m.)
- Lemon Ice Cream tasting from Christian Winkler’s recipe at Vierling Wash Bake House
- Hands-on patriotic punched paper activity
- Puppet Show: Sister Maus (10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m.)
- Fire engine drills
- Self guided garden tours
- Reading of the Declaration of Independence
- Patriotic Music
- Colonial games
- and more!

A Jazz Concert featuring music performed by Freeport Jazz Band will take place at 1:30 p.m. and again at 2:45 p.m. at St. Philips Heritage Center in Old Salem. At 2 p.m. there will be a performance of Psalm of Joy, originally part of the Moravian’s 1783 celebration of July 4th, held at Home Moravian Church.

An interactive reenactment of the 1783 celebration of peace and July 4th in Salem, will begin at 4:15 p.m. Visitors will gather at Salem Square to begin the procession.

The fun will continue on July 5 with events and activities throughout the day, including:

-          Hearth cooking demonstrations
-          Apothecary visits
-          Hands-on patriotic punched paper activity
-          Rifle and musket firings
-          Fire Engine drills
-          organ music
-          and more!

The activities each day are included with the purchase of an All-In-One ticket, which are $23 for adults and $11 for children ages 6-16. Tickets can be purchased online at oldsalem.org or at the Visitor Center at 900 Old Salem Road. For more information, please contact (336) 721-7350 or info@oldsalem.org.

About Old Salem

Old Salem Museums & Gardens is one of America’s most comprehensive history attractions. Its museums—the Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), and the Gardens at Old Salem—engage visitors in an educational and memorable historical experience about those who lived and worked in the early South. Old Salem Museums & Gardens is located at 600 South Main Street in Winston-Salem. For more information call 336-721-7300 or visit oldsalem.org."
A Press Release

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