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June 25, 2008 > Independence Day, the old-fashioned way

Independence Day, the old-fashioned way

By Meenu Gupta

With the quintessential summer holiday, Independence Day, just round the corner on July 4, celebrations are on tap just about everywhere with events, activities and fireworks galore. East Bay Regional Park District, however, celebrates this true blue American holiday with a difference. Keeping an annual tradition alive, Ardenwood Farm will host activities common to the years just prior to the 1900s.

This fun-filled community festival is celebrated in historic style with rousing patriotic music from a brass band on the lawn and fiddle music in the farmyard. Although there will be no fireworks, the day will be filled with games, contests and races for everyone in the family. Have fun with friends and family as you test your skill and try to break existing records. Last year a new Ardenwood record of 48 seconds was set by Steven Metzger of Campbell in the Pie-Eating contest. A Bucket Brigade contest tested the agility of teams to fill a barrel; last year the winning team accomplished the feat in 9 minutes, 8 seconds. Ryan and Russ Miller of Castro Valley won the egg tossing contest by successfully launching and catching an egg without hearing, seeing and feeling the sound of cracking shells and the ultimate mess from 59 feet 9 inches.

Join with others in a bucket brigade, egg toss, watermelon seed spitting or tug-of-war contest. People are welcome to bring a picnic but in keeping with the historic atmosphere, modern recreational equipment including frisbees, footballs, soccer balls, bicycles, balloons, and BBQs are prohibited.

Ardenwood farm exhibits agricultural practices from the 1870s to the present and is the abode of many farm animals. The farm is the home of Patterson Ranch, a beautiful mansion built in 1857, with elaborate Victorian Gardens. "Since many years after its opening in 1985, Ardenwood Farm celebrates Independence Day with historic activities like naildriving, potato spoon race, pie eating. It is a great day for family fun with competitions, magic show, crafts -things that were done at the turn of the century," said Ira Bletz, Supervising Naturalist of the farm.

Gather your friends and family to celebrate America's birthday Ardenwood style. It's old fashioned; it's engaging; it's fun!

$8/adult (18+ years), $6/seniors (62+ year), $5/children (4-17 years), under 4 years free.
No parking fee

Independence Day at Ardenwood
Friday, July 4
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(Off Highway 84, just east of the Dumbarton Bridge)
(510) 796-0663.
(510) 796-0199
http://www.ebparks.org/parks/ardenwood

Dogs are not permitted in the park

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