Independence Days!

John Adams, an American Founding Father, and the second President of the United States, predicted how Americans would spend our future Independence Days when he wrote to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, the day after the Second Continental Congress made its decree for freedom: " I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more." The next day, Congress formally adopted the Declaration, sounding the bell at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Pen would not actually be put to paper until August 2, but six long years of struggle for independence had begun.

Although many of the normal Fourth of July festivities are still on hold due to COVID-19 precautions, the traditional patriotic exercises at the Middlebrook Encampment in Bridgewater will commence on Sunday, July 4, 2021.

For 117 consecutive years, the Declaration of Independence has been read on Independence Day at the 20-acre park operated by the Washington Campground Association at 1761 Middlebrook Rd., in Bridgewater. The park commemorates the two major Continental Army encampments at Middlebrook, in spring of 1777, and winter of 1778-79. It is here that the first American flag was unfurled, and where a 13-Star Betsy Ross flag flies continuously by special act of Congress. The solemn Independence Day Ceremony there, well-attended by dignitaries, consists of a changing of the 13-star flag and the reading of the Declaration, followed by a keynote speaker and an historical address. Ceremonies begin at 10:30am.

Join us this year, the 245th Anniversary of the Declaration's adoption, for the Washington Camp Ground Association’s Fourth of July Patriotic Exercise. Bring lawn chairs and listen to patriotic music before the introduction of dignitaries, reading of the Declaration, Keynote Speaker, historical address, and Benediction. Ceremonies begin at 10:30am. 732/469-6453

Washington Camp Ground, 1761 Middlebrook Rd., Bridgewater

This story was first published: Summer, 2013
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