Monday, June 27, 2016

Old-Fashioned July 4th Festival at Clermont


The sounds, tastes, and smells of the Colonial era will converge at Clermont State Historic Site in Germantown this July 4th during the site’s Old-Fashioned Independence Day Festival.  From 2 to 10 p.m., the site will host a lively event with a little something for every member of the family.  From 2 to 6 p.m., the museum will be surrounded by hands-on experiences taken from daily life of the 18th century.  Visitors will be able to sample all kinds of activities, from grueling laundry to polite tea parties, drilling and firing demonstrations by Revolutionary War reenactors, as well as a chance to meet George Washington on his horse!  Afterward, from 7 to 10 p.m., the grounds will be alive with the blues played by the Willie Amrod Band, until the evening is capped off with a beautiful view of the Saugerties fireworks over the Hudson River.  Hot food will be available for sale from the Jennings-Willets American Legion Post #346, Sweet Central Express and the Lunch Box.  Free hayrides are available from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.  It’s a full day of activities for only $10 per vehicle or $8 for Friends of Clermont.  Visit Clermont State Historic Site’s Facebook page for a complete schedule of activities.

In honor of Clermont’s important Revolutionary War history, Clermont staff and volunteers will be dressed in historic costume while they demonstrate the skills and chores of 18th century life.  Visitors can sit down with Clermont’s most famous matriarch Margaret Beekman Livingston for a polite tea party or they can sniff a stew as it cooks over a camp fire for the afternoon.  Visitors are invited to try hand-cranking fresh ice cream and enjoy free samples of historic flavors, donated by Stewarts Shops.  Children can even try on historic costume or take part in a spying experience, including secret laundry messages and book codes.  Storyteller Tom Hanford will delight children with his interactive musical experience, including richly-painted puppets and opportunities for children to participate on stage!








The mansion will be open for free self-guided tours, from 2 to 6 p.m.  Children’s contests start at 5:15 and will include a three-legged race, cherry pit spitting, and Grinning for Cheese.  A live reading of the Declaration of Independence at 6:00, punctuated by a black-powder gun salute, will complete the 18th century demonstration.

When evening arrives, Clermont’s grounds will be alive with classic rock and blues as the Willie Amrod Band rock the grounds and guests spread out their picnic blankets to await a view of the Saugerties fireworks after sunset.  With hot food close at hand by the Lunch Box, ice cream from Sweet Central Express, plenty of room to run, and easy-out parking, this is a great venue for families to see the fireworks show. Music begins at 7 p.m.  The site will close its gates when parking is full, so the public is encouraged to come early to ensure access to a spot.

This event is made possible in part by a generous donation from Stewart’s Shops of New York and the Natural Heritage Trust.

For more information, please call Kjirsten at (518) 537-4240. 


Clermont State Historic Site is located at 1 Clermont Avenue in Germantown, off Route 9G. The Historic Site features the mansion, formal gardens, scenic Hudson River views and miles of hiking trails.  The Friends of Clermont is a private, non-profit educational corporation, founded in 1977 to support and supplement the museum education and historic preservation programs at Clermont State Historic Site.  Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Clermont is one of six historic sites and 15 parks administered by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in the Taconic Region.  For more information please visit our website at www.nysparks.com or like us on Facebook. 

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