2013-06-28 / Community

A Window on the Past

Bug Light Park set for July 4 festival
By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society

South Portland’s Bug Light Park will be the backdrop for the annual Fourth of July South Portland celebration next Thursday. The event is hosted by the South Portland Historical Society, with funding and thanks to major sponsor, Saco and Biddeford Savings Institution.

It’ll be a day of fun events at the park. The museum will open at 10 a.m. with free admission and, starting at 11 a.m., we’ll enjoy the high-energy bluegrass music provided by the Portland-based band, Tricky Britches, playing from the front porch. You won’t want to miss the great acoustic sound and harmonies that these string players put out – a modern fusion of bluegrass and folk rock. Tricky Britches will also introduce and sell their just-released CD, “Good Company.”

At noon, we will be treated to what has become a highlight of Fourth of July in South Portland – a reading of the Declaration of Independence by the honorable Benjamin Franklin. Brought back to life by South Portland’s own John Kierstead, Mr. Franklin provides a lively and energetic reading of the document that declared our independence from Great Britain in 1776. Listening to the original fiery words of patriotism is a great way to get into the spirit of the day and to remember why we celebrate July 4 each year.

Throughout the festival, volunteers will serve up tasty hot dogs, hamburgers, vegetable burgers, sausage sandwiches, cold drinks and more at a fundraiser barbecue. It will be great affordable fun to enjoy a picnic in the park – and proceeds from the barbecue go directly to support the historical society and museum.

Members of the NorEasters Kite Club will fly some fanciful kites, as well as some great patriotic kites, throughout the day. Additional afternoon events for children will include games at 1:30 p.m. – no electronic toys here – it will be old-fashioned fun such as sack races and three-legged races. At 2 p.m., children will have a chance to see a live lobster up close and learn more about these iconic Maine creatures at “Lobster Lore,” a hands-on event offered by Weathervane Seafoods at the museum.

Celebrate our nation’s birthday with a picnic and games at the park, watch the kite flying (or fly your own) and take in the spectacular views of Casco Bay. Don’t forget to stay for the fireworks – we have a great view of the Eastern Promenade. For more information, call the museum at 767-7299 or visit South Portland Historical Society on Facebook.

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