EXETER —History is often seen as a sequence of events that resides in the past, which is only partly accurate and serves as a subtle theme that underscores the American Independence Festival on Sat., July 13.

“Our Revolutionary history provides a unique and relevant glimpse into who we are today as Americans,” said Emma Bray, executive director of the American Independence Museum, which hosts the festival.

This theme recently caught the attention of Newburyport Bank, which presented Bray with a $5,000 check at their new branch in Exeter to sponsor the festival.

“We are so enthusiastic about this partnership and the connection between our two organizations,” said Bray. “It is clear we both value and honor the importance of history.”

Lloyd Hamm, Jr., president and CEO, Newburyport Bank, agreed and described himself as “a strong enthusiast of history.”

“I love seeing it energized and want to thank the museum for bringing history to life for the citizens of our communities,” he said.

At the American Independence Festival, visitors experience everything from traditional craft demonstrations and battle re-enactments to a beer garden, live music, games, local food, art and craft marketplace, and more.

In serving as presenting sponsor of the festival, Hamm, Jr. said he believes Newburyport Bank takes an important step to supporting the greater Exeter community.

“I so appreciate that our Bank, which is new to the Exeter community but active in the region since 1854, can share in this important opportunity for inspiration and learning,” he said.

The festival also serves to conjure within Hamm, Jr. fond memories of a childhood experience in which he participated in the 1976 bicentennial celebrations as a member of the Town of Upton, MA militia.

“For me, it was a vibrant instrument for understanding and enjoying history,” he recalled. “I remember bounding through fields of New England with my 75 caliber Brown Bess in hand, battling the British 10th or 54th regiments. It was so much fun to see the looks of awe and enjoyment on the faces of the crowds as our nation’s important history was brought to life.”

It is precisely this kind of experience that Bray said visitors can experience at the festival, which features more than 100 colonial re-enactors, most of whom stay in character throughout the day.

“The festival literally brings history to life,” she said. “We are so thankful to partner with Newburyport Bank to present this unique and engaging experience for people of all ages.”

In total, more than 4,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival with proceeds to benefit educational programs and collections care at the museum, which features more than 3,000 items.

The museum’s collection includes one of only twenty-six surviving copies of the Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence and two rare drafts of the U.S. Constitution, all of which will be displayed at the festival.

The American Independence Festival takes place on Sat., July 13 at the American Independence Festival from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. with the beer tent open until 6:00 p.m.

Festival tickets are $10.00 for adults; $5.00 for ages 6-18; and free for children under age 6, active and retired military, veterans, and Museum members.

To learn more, or purchase tickets, visit independencemuseum.org.

 

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