History — Old Fashioned Fourth of July ?celebrates with historical traditions, re-enactments

Each year, the focus of the Old Fashioned Fourth of July changes, that way people know what to expect: the unexpected.

“Each year we try to bring somebody in different to present a little living history,” said Judy Van Atta, Newell House director. “This year we’re celebrating the 200th anniversary of the writing of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ by Francis Scott Key, so we are celebrating our patriots.”

To do so, “George Robert Twelves Hewes” will come to life and share his escapades during the Revolutionary War, including his service during the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

“We have a lot of fun at these events because we do things the old fashioned way, like reading the Declaration of Independence,” Van Atta said. There are also prizes, food, music and a pie contest. “We have an old fashioned pie baking contest, because we’re free, we take those pies and auction them off for donations to the museum. We always have a winner so there ae bragging rights, so that’s good.”

The event is situated in between parades and fireworks, something casual, Van Atta said, but fairly popular in its sixth year hosting anywhere between 80 and 150 people.

“We’re pretty laid back, so people can go to the parade and fireworks in the evening and we’re just in between,” she said.

Featured for the second time, Truman Price will join the festivities on fiddle.

“He’s wonderful,” Van Atta said. “He’s done quite a few activities with us. We had him last year and everyone loved him so much we decided to bring him back this year.”

There will also be hot dogs and sausages available for purchase, and Van Atta said people should bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating, because although there are picnic tables, they can fill up pretty quickly.

Celebrations begin at 4 p.m. at the Newell House Museum by Champoeg Park.

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