The Fourth of July is a day for celebration here in the United States. We celebrate the birth of our nation; we celebrate democracy; we celebrate our diversity; and we celebrate all the wonderful things that make this country great. Our State and National Parks are some of those wonders thatpreserve our national treasures and heritage. Where better to spend Independence Day than a park?
At Sky Meadows State Park, locatedon Historic Route 17 between the towns of Paris and Delaplane, we’re celebrating our nation’s birthday with a day of family fun. We call it “Picnic in the Park,” and you’re invited. Pack your favorite foods and head out to the park early to grab the perfect picnic spot. Bring a kite to fly on one of our breezy hillsides. Or maybe you prefer to toss a baseball or Frisbee? There’s plenty of open spaces for that, too.
At noon, our special programs begin. Every hour on the hour, you can hear a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence from the back porch of historic Mount Bleak House. We’ll also have the back yard of Mount Bleak set up with old-fashioned toys and games. Try your hand at a game of graces, or shoot a round of croquet. Gather up some friends and have a sack race or play with pick-up sticks. These traditional games are fun for the whole family.
If you’re not into games, why not stop by the Log Cabin and sit a spell while listening to music provided by Dr. Banjo. The good doctor, also known as Dean Havron, plays old-time and minstrel music on a 5-string banjo, guitar and lap dulcimer. He will be performing a variety of Americana tunes from noon until 4 p.m.
The Kid’s Fishing Derby begins at 1:00 p.m. at Turner Pond and runs until 3:00 p.m. Park Naturalist Trish Bartholomew will be leading the activities Limited numbers of poles and other equipment will be available for derby participants. The derby is open to all children ages 5 to 12 and prizes will be given to all participants. Virginia residents under the age of 16 do not need a license to fish at Turner Pond. Non-residents under the age of 12 are also exempt from carrying a license when accompanied by a properly licensed adult. For complete fishing regulations for the State of Virginia, please visit the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.
The All-American activities continue in the park’s Historic Area. From 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., stop by the Wash House to make a patriotic craft. Learn the secret to making a perfect Betsy Ross five-pointed star and create your own flag pin. To round out the day, tour Historic Mount Bleak House. Visitors can get a look inside this landmark home from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and see what life was like for Abner Settle and his family.
No Fourth of July celebration would be complete without fireworks. While fireworks are not permitted in any Virginia State Park, Sky Meadows is only a short drive from Fauquier County?
All of Sky Meadows’ “Picnic in the Park” activities are free. Parking is only $4.00 per car. For more information about programs and special events at Sky Meadows, please visit our on-line events page or call the park at 540-592-3556.