2014-06-27 / Community

A Window on the Past

Benjamin Franklin, antique cars and Summer in Maine Auction, all at barbecue on July 4
By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society

Please join the South Portland Historical Society on the Fourth of July for some fun activities as we celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence.

The museum at Bug Light Park will open at 10 a.m. and a barbecue fundraiser will take place on the museum grounds from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. South Portlanders have come to enjoy the annual appearance of Benjamin Franklin at the museum. The honorable Mr. Franklin will arrive on the front porch of the museum at noon to read the monumental document that declared our independence from Great Britain in 1776. Throughout the event, last bids will be taken in the Summer in Maine Auction that has been taking place at the society’s museum; all bidding will close and the auction will end at 1:30 p.m. Old-fashioned games for children will happen at 1:30 p.m. – three legged races, sack races and other games to enjoy outside in the fresh air.

This will be the society’s seventh annual July 4 celebration. Our thanks to the major sponsor for the Fourth of July event, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution. To ensure that you see the entire reading of the Declaration of Independence, we recommend that you arrive early to secure parking – and feel free to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair to stake out a comfortable place to enjoy the reading.

Proceeds from the barbecue fundraiser help support the museum with its free admission as well as the preservation work of the historical society. Our thanks to society member John Kierstead for his performance as Benjamin Franklin. We have enjoyed his fiery reading of the Declaration each year. It truly brings this document to life.

The society is lining up some antique cars to have on display during the Fourth of July celebration this year, as well. If you have an antique car that you would be willing to display between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., please contact me at the society to register your vehicle by phone at 767-7299, by email at sphistoricalsociety@ maine.rr.com, or message the South Portland Historical Society on Facebook.

Kathryn DiPhilippo is director at South Portland Historical Society.

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