With fireworks, live music, roasted turkey legs and mule rides, revelers at the first Independence Day celebration in 1777 would likely have felt right at home at the Carroll County Farm Museum's "Old-Fashioned July 4th Celebration" Friday — that is, aside from the giant inflatable bouncy house with an eagle face screen printed onto it.
People from throughout the county, and even out-of-state, gathered on farm museum grounds for the day-long event. Some families brought picnic lunches, while others sampled food from the variety of vendors selling American staples like hot dogs and hamburgers as well as "foreign" favorites like Italian ice and French fries.
Annie and Dale Nesmith, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, staked out a prime vantage point for fireworks viewing early in the afternoon. They planned to spend the rest of the day relaxing in the sun.
"This is where I grew up. We just drove here from West Virginia so my kids could see where I used to celebrate the Fourth of July," Annie said. "They have the best fireworks here. Dale's seen them in Chicago; we've seen them in West Virginia, and we decided to come to Carroll County. They put on a really great show."
Throughout the day, the bands Standard Delivery Combo and Beach Bumz played classic hits like Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," and a selection of Beach Boys tunes.
In matching red, white and blue outfits, Pat and Wayne Sipe, of Brooklyn Park, danced throughout the Beach Bumz entire performance. Pat said it was the quality of the bands that drew them to the event.
"We're jitterbuggers at heart," Pat said. "One of the things in our bucket list was to dance in all 50 states, and we've done it. It's good exercise. We love the music, and it's a lot more fun than going to the gym."
In addition to the entertainment, the museum appropriately held educational demos for blacksmithing, chair caning and historic farming throughout the day.
David Heller, of Mount Airy, was spending the day taking his niece Danielle Allen, 6, of Florida, through the educational exhibits. Danielle said her favorite part of the day was riding in the cart behind the mules.
"Our nieces come up from Florida every year around this time, so we always take them here," Heller said. "It's good old-fashioned fun. We wear all red, white and blue because the Fourth of July means something to us as Americans. It's a nice family affair."
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Contact staff writer Jacob deNobel at 410-857-7890 or email@example.com.