Exeter—a city where citizens celebrate Independence Day differently. Unlike other parts of the US, where they celebrate on the fourth of July, here, they celebrate it on the Saturday closest to the 16th of July.
(Can you guess why? Hint: think how long it took the news to travel in those days)
The citizens come together in the center of the city to celebrate this holiday, to walk around to different venders that sell food, drinks and little artifacts.
The festival started at around 10 a.m., where all got to see characters ride up and down the streets on horseback, along with a show of a fight scene. Throughout the day, everyone from nearby walked the streets of Exeter, amazed at how realistic everything looked, from the characters all the way down to the little shops scattered around the streets. The little shops sold many things, including, jewelry, toys and doll clothes. Along this closed street, people also enjoyed lively music and watched actors impersonate people from hundreds of years ago.
We got to interview Bruce Batten, a U.S. history teacher who has been doing the impersonation of a member of the first New Hampshire regiment for over 20 years. The first New Hampshire regiment was one of the longest serving regiments, lasting from April 1775 to January 1784. Throughout the American Revolution, this unit greatly contributed to many major battles, including the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Battle of Chelsea Creek.
Mr. Batten, who is very passionate about history, continued telling more facts about U.S. history, as well as some history about his family. Five of his ancestors served and fought in the American Revolution, including three members who fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It was very interesting to see how Mr. Batten turned from being himself, to green coat-wearing colonist from the regiment. It took him many summers to really get into his character and master his part, his hard work paying off. His uniform was very well made, along with very realistic looking props that really matched his part. Most were hand-made, but his British musket was bought.
At around 8:45 p.m., the streets of Exeter were once again filled with glow sticks, light up toys, and blankets. Hundreds of people came early to enjoy good ice cream, live music, and many came early to find a good place to watch the fireworks. It was a great atmosphere to be in, everyone enjoying themselves and having fun, swaying to the beat of the songs. Many more families came together, gathering along the Exeter river, everyone waiting for the show to begin. The fireworks began at around 9:15 p.m. Everyone stared at the sky in awe; it was a spectacular sight. As the show ended, more fireworks filled the sky, painting a beautiful image of neon colors in our minds – an unforgettable sight.