By Mary Tucker

By July 4, 1776 the members of the Continental Congress had signed the Declaration of Independence, giving birth to our nation. This day was first celebrated the following year, July 4, 1777. Soon after, cities, towns and villages were celebrating Independence Day with parades, picnics, and fireworks. It is interesting to note that only two of the founding fathers became presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence. Adams and Jefferson became estranged over their views of governing, but many years later began a friendly correspondence which lasted until their deaths; both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, 50 years after the signing.

I thought it would be interesting to see how the United States celebrates “The Fourth” all these years later. Looking at Delaware County villages:


► June 30 – From 10 am until 4 pm the Andes Society for History & Culture will offer a free event showcasing what life was like in the Pepacton Valley before the building of the reservoir. The event, “Silent Villages of the Lost Valley: The Stories beneath the Pepacton Reservoir” will be held at Andes Central School. A documentary DVD, “Shavertown: Reservoir of Memories”, created by students and teachers at the school , and a compilation of home movies by the Hoag family will be shown, along with stories and memorabilia by former residents of the four villages under the reservoir: Arena, Pepacton, Shavertown, and Union Grove.


► July 4 Farmers Market on village square 10 am to 2 pm

► July 6 Fair on The Square offers art, crafts, food, games, music and dancing 5 pm to ?


► June 30 – Vintage Baseball Game between the Roxbury Nine and the Mountain Athletic Club, a chicken barbecue and live music takes place beginning at noon.


► July 3 – July 8: The annual Margaretville Fire Department Carnival, featuring Gillette Shows. One price days for families July 4, 7, and 8 from 1 pm to 5 pm and on the evening of July 5. Fireworks on July 4 and 7 at dusk.

East Branch:

►  June 30 – July 1Firemen’s Field Days.

Hobart Book Village:

► June 30 – Hobart Art Walk. Artists displays thought the village. Wine & cheese will be served from 4 pm until 7 pm.


► July 6, 7 & 8 –  will have village wide lawn sales

► July7 – 8The Fifties Revisited Vintage Car Show and a special lawn sale at the historic Eells House.

Outside of Delaware County, some other celebrations of interest:

Oneonta hosts the Annual Hometown Fourth of July celebration on July 4, offering a free baseball game at Damaschke Field, food, games, musical entertainment through the afternoon at Neahwa Park. ending the day with a fireworks display at dusk.

Nathans’ Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island is an unusual way of celebrating. The contest, which began on July 4, 1916 and continues to this day, was supposedly started by two immigrants to prove who was the most patriotic.

Finally on the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C. a free concert “A Capitol Fourth” precedes the fireworks and attracts an audience of  over half a million.~