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American Independence Festival of Exeter

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Dates:Saturday, July 13, 2019
Hours:Hours Vary see below
Ages:Toddlers, Kids, Teens, Adults
In/Outdoor:Indoor, Outdoor
Cost:$ see below
Category:Fairs & Festivals
american independence festival of exeter photoExeter's American Independence Festival is an annual celebration of our freedom and the founding of our nation.

Enjoy a day of living history, with the arrival and reading of the Declaration of Independence, period crafts, music, dance, games, food and more.

On the night of July 4, 1776, Philadelphia printer John Dunlap slaved over his printing press, turning Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten pages into 200 posters that were then sent off to the King of England and the colonies via horseback and coach.

New Hampshire’s copy arrived in Exeter, the Revolutionary-era capitol, on July 16, 1776. Twenty-two year old John Taylor Gilman put his life on the line as he read the Declaration of Independence to the townspeople of Exeter.

Help us celebrate America’s freedom with our popular festival! Join the crowd escorting George Washington down Water Street, see the horseback delivery of the Declaration and listen to the public reading (complete with hecklers!), chat with historic role-players, step to the stirring music of the Lincoln Fife and Drum and delight in the maneuvers and cannon firings of militias.

Visit the Traditional New Hampshire artisans’ village, view the original Dunlap Broadside (one of 26 known copies in the world) and early drafts of the U.S. Constitution and stroll Swasey Parkway and Water Street to see local arts and crafts. Enjoy plenty of food, music, sidewalk sales and children’s activities, then stay for the town’s evening fireworks and live band!

The festival is collaboration between the American Independence Museum, the Town
of Exeter, the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as other local non-profits.

All events held on museum grounds require payment of admission fee. Water Street and Swasey Parkway events are free of charge, donations encouraged. All proceeds from admission fees, museum gift shop sales, Independence Ale sales, and donation boxes go directly to the American Independence Museum, a non-profit organization. We thank you for your

HOURS↑ top

10am ( see schedule of the day below) rain or shine.
(Live music at 6:45, fireworks at 8:45)

COST↑ top

$10 for adult, $5 for children




Swasey Parkway & Water Street, Exeter, NH map
Phone: 603-772-2622

From points east:
From I-95N and I-95S, take exit 2 to Route 101 west. Take exit 10, “Exeter/Newfields, Rte. 85.” Left at top of exit ramp onto Newfields Rd. and follow to end. Turn left onto Water Street. American Independence Museum is on the right.

From points west:
Take exit 9, “Exeter/Rte. 27.” Right at top of exit ramp onto Rte. 27/Epping Rd. Follow into downtown Exeter. Epping Rd. becomes Water St. American Independence Museum is on right after Phillips Exeter Academy campus.

Festival Parking:
Available at Main Street School, Lincoln Street School, on Front Street and throughout the town. Handicap Only parking is available in the museum’s visitors lot, located on the corner of Spring and Water Streets. It is accessible only from Front Street to Spring Street on Festival Day.

TIPS↑ top

  • Please be aware that cannons will be fired on the hour, beginning at 12:00 p.m., and the battle at 1:00 p.m. may be too loud for young ones or those with a sensitivity to loud noises.

Info changes frequently. We cannot warrant it. Verify with American Independence Festival of Exeter before making the trek. If you find an error, please report it...
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