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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Independence Day to be celebrated over weekend at Sycamore Shoals

June 26th, 2014 1:48 pm by John Thompson

Independence Day to be celebrated over weekend at Sycamore Shoals

ELIZABETHTON — Independence Day will be celebrated a few days early at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. This weekend, re-enactors at the fort will celebrate the events of 1776, including a re-creation of the news being brought to the frontier on horseback.

The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia, the host living history organization at the park, will hold an encampment at the fort this weekend, providing visitors with a glimpse of what it was like in the camp of an 18th century militia on the frontier. The weekend builds to a climax when the words from Philadelphia reach the outpost beyond the mountain in July 1776.

The weekend’s activities are as follows:


• 10 a.m.: Raising of the colors, with an inspection of the militia, followed by a patriotic ceremony and the raising of the flag.

• 10:30 a.m.: Old-fashioned rubber band shooting match, with prizes offered for the top marksmen.

• 11 a.m.: A special presentation of the uses and tactics of the 18th century bayonet, one of the most feared weapons used in the Revolutionary War.

• 11:30 a.m.: Kids Militia, a chance for children to fall in and drill with the Washington County Militia.

• 12:30 p.m.: “Echoes of the Revolution,” with the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums performing 18th century martial and field music.

• 1 p.m.: The Declaration of Independence arrives at Fort Watauga and will be read aloud to those assembled to hear it for the first time. A short celebration will be followed by refreshments.

• 2 p.m.: A bayonet competition, as the militiamen test their skill and aim.

• 2:30 p.m.: Artillery drill and demonstration, using the fort’s cannon.

• 3 p.m.: Tomahawk throw demonstration.

• 3:30 p.m.: The Washington County Militia will demonstrate the tactics and firearms used in the Revolutionary War.

• 4 p.m.: The colors will be retired and the fort will close for the evening.


• 10 a.m.: Raising of the colors and an 18th century worship service held inside Fort Watauga.

• 11:30 a.m.: Kids Militia.

• 12:30 p.m.: Artillery drill and demonstration.

• 1 p.m.: Ladies’ tea and Sunday social. Visitors can join the frontier ladies as they defy the crown with a “Liberty Tea.” The visitors can learn about the Edenton Tea Party of 1774.

• 2 p.m.: Artillery drill and demonstration.

• 2:30 p.m.: Militia drill.

• 3 p.m.: The colors will be retired and the park will close.

For more information, call 543-5808 or go to

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