On the Fourth of July, Historic Mount Vernon will commemorate George Washington’s contribution to American freedom with the annual Red, White and Blue Celebration, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The day includes period musical performances, a wreath-laying ceremony, free birthday cake and a visit by Gen. Washington. All events are included in regular Estate admission.
Red, White and Blue Celebration begins at 8:30 a.m. with 18th-century music by David and Ginger Hildebrand, specialists in early-American music who use period instruments to perform pieces honoring Washington and 18th-century music enjoyed by America's first president at Mount Vernon.
At 9:30 a.m., re-enactors of the First Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line assemble for inspection and a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Bowling Green. The George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will then lead a 10:15 a.m. a procession from the Bowling Green to George Washington's tomb. Richard Kusserow, SAR chapter president, will place a memorial wreath at the Tomb and lead visitors in the Pledge of Allegiance.
At 11:00 a.m., immediately after the ceremony, visitors can enjoy Mount Vernon's all-American birthday cake, while supplies last, and the annual Red, White and Blue Concert on the Bowling Green. The performance features the National Concert Band of America, 80 retired musicians from each of the U.S. Armed Services bands, playing patriotic favorites and American standards. This concert marks the band's 10th year of involvement in the Mount Vernon Independence Day Celebrations.
In addition to Independence Day, July is a time of celebration at Mount Vernon, marking the beginning of the wheat harvest season. Field hands kick-off the season on the Fourth of July with wheat-treading demonstrations, with costumed staff leading horses as they tread wheat in the 16-sided barn at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. Visitors witness Washington's innovative treading process, learning first-hand how Washington separated grain from straw.