The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

July 4th, 2016: Celebrating 240 Years of Independence

Fourth of July

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Congress declared the Fourth of July a federal holiday in 1870 as a day to celebrate the independence of the United States of America.  Today, communities across the nation mark this holiday with fireworks, parades, and an array of other outdoors celebrations, the largest display being the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show in New York City.  Traditionally, various politicians and public figures also make public addresses honoring the country's history and heritage.  This year, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will celebrate the holiday by hosting military families for an Independence Day celebration at the White House with a barbeque, fireworks, and concert.

Here in the Upper Valley, local towns and cities, such as Hanover, Lebanon, and Woodstock all host an abundance of festivities that you can join in to celebrate this grand and momentous midsummer holiday.

The Hanover Improvement Society will be hosting Hanover’s 24th Annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration commencing with a parade at 10am, from Hovey Lane to the Dartmouth Green.  The day's entertainments will also feature speaker Michael Hinsley H.F.D., games such as the three-legged race and the water balloon toss, and music from Brooks Hubbard and the North Country Chordsmen. For more information and the event poster, visit:

Several other Fourth of July events will also be hosted in Lebanon,NH . For those who enjoy watching and participating in physical activities, there will be a morning fun run, 5K race, and 10K race along Rail Trail and Mill Road.  The Great American All-You-Can-Eat Pie Buffet will take place at the Upper Valley Senior Center at 10 Campbell Street from 9:30am-1:30pm.  The day’s festivities will conclude with a concert by "The Flames" at 7pm and a fireworks display at 9:20pm on Storrs Hill.  For a more solemn Independence Day celebration, the town will also keep the Soldier's Memorial Building open for tours from 5:30pm until 9:00pm. For more information, visit:

Woodstock, VT will also be hosting a variety of Independence Day celebrations.  Visitors to Billings Farm and Museum can experience an "Old Vermont 4th", a patriotic celebration including the reading of the Declaration of Independence, historic debate, wagon rides, the making of 1890 flags, and much more.  Independence Day morning in Woodstock will begin with the annual John Langhans 7.1 Green Mile Road Race at 7:30am, and will conclude with a performance by Jack Snyder and fireworks at Woodstock Union High School. For more information, visit:!/93636-woodstock-vermont-4th-of-july

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences