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"Hardtack and Hard Times": Independence on the Frontier this weekend, June 29-30, at Fort Watauga

June 26th, 2013 12:01 am by Ned Jilton

"Hardtack and Hard Times": Independence on the Frontier this weekend, June 29-30, at Fort Watauga

Jason Davis reads the newly arrived Declaration of Independence at Fort Watauga during past celebrations. Photo courtesy of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.

With the fourth of July close at hand, plans for parades and festivities are well underway with area historic sites joining in with their own celebrations.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area will host Independence on the Frontier this weekend, June 29-30, at Fort Watauga in Elizabethton. This is a chance for you to be there and hear the reactions of the settlers as the Declaration of Independence is read. Will there be war? How will the natives react?

As part of the weekend’s activities a very special ceremony will be held on Saturday at 2:00 pm. The Tennessee Society Sons of the Revolution will hold a bell ringing in honor of the thirteen colonies inside Fort Watauga at the Park. Each colony will be called out and the bell rung in their honor. The Watauga Valley Fife & Drum will then play a short tribute to each colony.

In addition to the reading of the declaration and the artillery drill and demonstration there will be a kid’s militia both days starting at noon. This is a great chance for kids to fall in and drill with the Washington County Militia and a great photo opportunity for the parents.


The schedule of events are as follows;

Saturday, June 29th

10:00 – Militia Inspection: Raising the Colours


11:00 – Artillery Drill and Demonstration


12:00 – Kids Militia: Attention all able bodied kids! Fall in and drill with the Washington Co. Militia.


1:00 – Arrival of the Declaration of Independence: Document arrives by courier. Public reading followed by a short celebration.


2:00 – Bell Ringing Ceremony: Join the Sons of the Revolution as we honor the 13 original colonies. Musical honors provided by the Watauga Valley Fifes & Drums.


3:00 - Artillery Drill and Demonstration


4:00 – Retiring the Colours - Camps Close to the Public.



Sunday, June 30th 


10:00 – Militia Inspection: Raising the colours,


11:00 –Worship Service: Join us for Sunday Service


12:00 – Kids Militia: Attention all able bodied kids! Fall in and drill with the Washington Co. Militia.


1:00 – Ladies’ Tea: Join the ladies of the settlement and defy crown law with a “Liberty Tea”. Learn about the famous Edenton Tea Party of 1774


2:00 – Artillery Drill and Demonstration


3:00 – Retiring the Colours: Event closed to the public.


Get an early start on your Independence celebrations and bring the entire family out for a weekend full of history, patriotism, education, and family fun. Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area is located at 1651 W. Elk Ave. Elizabethton, TN. For more information about this event pleasecontact the park at 423-543-5808 or log on to www.sycamoreshoalstn.org




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