CHECK THIS OUT: An Uncle Sam Fourth: Lawrence celebrates the old-fashioned way

File photoRichard Padova, seen dressed for the occasion at the first Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration at Lawrence Heritage State Park in 2006, will portray John Adams this year, with his real-life wife, Lori, as Abigail Adams. The event will feature breakfast refreshments, followed by ceremonies, activities and an afternoon cookout. . The tradition continues in 2019 with ceremonies and a cook-out — free and open to the public.

Be a Yankee Doodle Dandy and salute Independence Day in style at Lawrence Heritage State Park.

The Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration is free and open to the public.

It runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, starting with breakfast refreshments, followed by ceremonies, activities and an afternoon cookout.

Teenage musician Joseph Grieve, of Andover, opens the festivities at noon by singing the national anthem.

The program continues with a brief oration, a flag-raising and exercises by the Lawrence High School Junior ROTC.

Next comes a short parade around the park with the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard and the Sixth Maine Battery, a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, and the cookout of hot dogs and hamburgers. Desserts and raffles wrap things up.

“We’re done by around 3, giving everyone enough time before any evening activities begin,” Richard Padova, a park interpreter, said.

He and his wife, Lori, have organized the event each of the last 14 years. This year, they will be dressed up as John and Abigail Adams. 

Richard Padova especially looks forward to the Best-Dressed Patriotic Contest. 

“I love seeing everybody dressed up in their red, white and blue,” he said.

Padova is the contest judge. The winner’s prize is a basket filled with goodies.

The Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration is funded by grants, donations from local businesses and individuals, and the Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park.

The event replicates how Lawrence celebrated the national holiday back in the 19th century, said Padova, a history teacher at Northern Essex Community College.

Invitations have gone out to the Lawrence School Committee, City Council and mayor.

 

IF YOU GO

What: Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration

When: Thursday, July 4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Lawrence Heritage State Park, 1 Jackson St., Lawrence

How much: Free admission

 

ABOUT CHECK THIS OUT

Check This Out is a weekly feature where we highlight places in our region to go for art, dance, history, music, poetry or other cultural entertainment. Got an idea for a Check This Out? Email Terry Date at tdate@northofboston.com.