Mock Battle, Watermelon-eating Contest and Town Ball Game at Minnesota Historical Society Sites and Museums this Fourth of July

For immediate release

Release dated: 
May 28, 2014
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson • Marketing and Communications • 651-259-3141 • megan.lawson@mnhs.org

Wendy Jones • Minnesota History Center • 651-259-3411 • wendy.jones@mnhs.org

Mock Battle, Watermelon-eating Contest and Town Ball Game at Minnesota Historical Society Sites and Museums this Fourth of July

Minnesota Historical Society sites and museums offer a wide range of activities for families this Fourth of July. Programs include a mock-battle at Historic Fort Snelling, a watermelon-eating contest at Historic Forestville and an 1800s town ball game at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm. Plus, many historic sites are open for regular programming.

July 4 events include:

  • Historic Fort Snelling, St. Paul
    Event: Independence Day Celebration
    Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Cost: $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MNHS members.

    Celebrate our nation’s independence at Historic Fort Snelling with activities that showcase what life was like in the early 1800s. Hear the roar of cannon salutes, watch a War of 1812 mock battle on the Parade Ground celebrating Col. Snelling's victory at the Battle of Oak Woods, witness a military dress parade, hear patriotic and military fife and drum music, and try your hand at historic games. As part of exploring the history of freedom in America, visitors can explore the history of slavery in Minnesota and the part Fort Snelling played in the great debate over freedom during the 1800s.

    Cannon firing at Historic Fort Snelling on July 4

  • Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
    Event: History HiJinx: Robot Mania!
    Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Cost: Free with admission of $11 adults, $9 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for MNHS members and children age 5 and under.

    Bring the family to the History Center on July 4 and explore the new exhibit Toys of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Then visit the History HiJinx craft table where younger visitors can cut, color and add a dash of flash, to create a paper and cardboard robot to take home.

    Other popular exhibits to view on July 4 include Minnesota's Greatest Generation, Then Now Wow, Weather Permitting and Open House.

  • Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
    Event: Fourth of July Fireworks
    Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. museum admission; fireworks at 10 p.m.
    Cost: $35/$30 MNHS members.
    Reservations: required, call 612-341-7555 or purchase tickets online.

    Visit Mill City Museum on July 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. then head outside for family fun and entertainment with the Minneapolis Riverfront 2014 Red White and Boom celebration. At 9:30 p.m. doors open to the museum's Koch Observation Deck where guests can watch the 10 p.m. fireworks show. A limited number of tickets will be available to view the fireworks display from the observation deck. Tickets include museum admission.

  • Oliver H. Kelley Farm, Elk River
    Event: Farmer's Fourth of July
    Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MNHS members.

    Celebrate the Farmer's Fourth of July at the Kelley Farm. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the lawn and watch the spring lambs and calves prance about. Visitors can also join in 19th-century games such as town ball, the precursor to modern baseball, and participate in an oratory and debate from the front porch. Enjoy the company of family and friends along with the farm's costumed staff and celebrate the most important holiday in America in the 19th century.

  • Historic Forestville, Preston
    Event: 1899 Independence Day Celebration
    Time: noon to 4 p.m.
    Cost: $7 adults, $6 seniors and college students, $5 children ages 6 to 17; $1 discount for MNHS members. State park vehicle permit required.

    Experience Independence Day as it was celebrated in Historic Forestville in 1899. Take part in a grand ceremony, listen to a local Glee Club and political speeches, including a reading of the Declaration of Independence and watch an old-time 1860s baseball game. Guests can take part in pie and watermelon-eating contests and sack and three-legged races for the kids. The Friends of Forestville will provide a concession/lunch stand.

July 4 celebration

Other Minnesota Historical Society Sites Open on July 4

Birch Coulee Battlefield, Morton, dawn to dusk
Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site, Little Falls, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Folsom House, Taylors Falls, 1 to 4 p.m.
Forest History Center, Grand Rapids, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fort Ridgely, Fairfax, 1 to 4 p.m.
Harkin Store, New Ulm, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jeffers Petroglyphs, Comfrey, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lac qui Parle Mission, Montevideo, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Lower Sioux Agency, Morton, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Marine Mill, Marine on St. Croix, dawn to dusk
Mille Lacs Indian Museum, Onamia, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Minnehaha Depot, Minneapolis, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
North West Company Fur Post, Pine City, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Traverse des Sioux, St. Peter, dawn to dusk

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Society’s calendar of events is posted online at www.mnhs.org/calendar. The website also has information about all of the Society’s programs, museums and historic sites.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.