Happy Birthday America!

Happy Birthday America!


As our nation celebrates another birthday, we can’t help but think about all that this country has given us, especially America’s more than 400 national parks. Offering special events for Americans of all ages, our national parks are the perfect place to celebrate the founding of our nation! Here is a list of national park events where everyone is invited to honor our great nation and its important history:

FLORIDA – Swing by Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, an American Latino Heritage Fund site, during the day to witness cannon firing demonstrations highlighting the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Then, come on back in the evening as this national park will be the perfect place to watch the City of St. Augustine’s fireworks display starting at 9:30pm! For more information click here.

MASSACHUSETTS – Join park rangers and volunteers at Minute Man National Historical Park as they mark the occasion with a reading of the Declaration of Independence! For more information click here.

NEW MEXICO – Share the joy of being an American citizen! Join Bandelier National Monument during its second annual naturalization ceremony in partnership with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. For more information click here.

NEW YORK – The Statue of Liberty will reopen on July 4! While the site has been closed since suffering damage from Superstorm Sandy, it will be back up and running and open to the public in time for Independence Day! (Please note, however, that Ellis Island will still remain closed). For more information click here.

OHIO – Enjoy an Independence Day ride on a vintage train through Cuyahoga Valley National Park! For more information click here.

PENNSYLVANIA - Come on out and join our friends at Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation as they commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg in the places where these historic events took place! Starting Saturday, June 29 through Sunday, July 7, they will be hosting special events and programs including ranger-led tours and hikes, the 150th Junior Ranger challenge, and artillery demonstrations. Be sure to check out the Commemorative Events Guide 2013 to get the inside scoop!

VIRGINIA - Watch history come alive during an Independence Day Living History Weekend at Booker T. Washington National Monument, an African American Experience Fund site! Learn about life as it was for Booker T. Washington and other residents on a Civil War era tobacco plantation.  Park staff and volunteers will be wearing mid-19th century period dress. For more information click here.

WASHINGTON – Celebrate July 4 with the 50th annual incredible fireworks display at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site! Enjoy traditional family fun games and entertainment all day! For more information click here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The fireworks and musical performances at the National Mall & Memorial Parks are always a good time and always impressive. If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path and less crowded check out Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. Connect with Frederick Douglass’ powerful words at this African American Experience Fund site with a reading of his memorable speech “What to the Slave is the 4th of July” that he delivered on July 5, 1852 in Rochester, NY. For more information click here and here.

WYOMING – Head on over to Fort Laramie National Historic Site for some good old fashioned Fourth of July fun! Participate in sack races and other games, watch the military flag raising ceremony, hear the cannon fired, listen to the 38 gun salute, watch the equestrian drill team, and help recreate a parade from 1876! For more information click here.

For more national park inspiration visit nationalparks.org/theplacesnobodyknows and download a free copy of National Park Foundation’s newly released “The Places Nobody Knows,” the third special edition in NPF’s Owner’s Guide series. For more information about events happening in America's national parks, visit the National Park Service's calendar.