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Independence Day Celebration at Hanford Mills Museum

July 4th event offers old-fashioned family fun

[East Meredith, New York, June 19, 2019] It’s going to be a BYOF celebration at Hanford Mills Museum on July 4th. That’s bring your own frog for the frog jumping contests. No frog? No problem. Organizers say that watching the contests are just as much fun. The Independence Day Celebration, which runs 10 am to 4 pm on July 4, also features a fishing derby with prizes for kids, steam power and water power demonstrations in the Museum’s historic sawmill, gristmill and woodworking shop, the Hanford Mills String Band, field games, and local vendors.

“The Independence Day Celebration is a day of authentic family fun,” says Liz Callahan, the Museum’s executive director. “Some families make Hanford Mills a part of their July Fourth every year, and we are always delighted to welcome new people to Hanford Mills.”

Steam Power Demonstrations

Hanford Mills Museum is one of the few historic sites in the country that demonstrates steam power. They will be operating the wood-fired boiler and steam engines throughout the day.

“July Fourth is the ideal time to explore American ingenuity,” said Callahan.

She noted that while Hanford Mills operates the waterwheel during tours offered every Wednesday through Sunday, steam power demonstrations occur only a few times a year.

Free Ice Cream Samples, Food Vendors

Visitors can sample ice cream made on steam-powered churn chilled with ice cut during February’s Ice Harvest Festival. Local vendors like Tickled Pink BBQ and Shaver-Hill Farm will sell lunch and snack items. Visitors are welcome to bring picnics too.

Special Fun for Kids

Children 14 and under can take part in a fishing derby on the Mill Pond from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm, with prizes awarded at 2 pm. Children can bring their own fishing poles and bait. There also will be poles available to borrow. Volunteers from the Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be on hand to offer help and fishing tips. Frog-jumping contests will be held at 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Kids should bring frogs to participate in the races. Children can also take part in sack races, tug o’ war games, and play with a variety of blocks and gears in the Learning Lab.

“With ice cream, jumping frogs, steam power, live music, fishing on the Mill pond, waterwheels, and local food, we have all the ingredients for a unique and happy Fourth of July,” says Callahan.

The Independence Day Celebration on July 4 runs from 10 am to 4 pm, with the Museum site open until 5 pm. The Independence Day Celebration is included with regular admission. Hanford Mills Museum is located at 51 County Highway 12 in East Meredith, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 & 12, just 10 miles from Oneonta, and 15 miles from Delhi.

About Hanford Mills Museum

Hanford Mills Museum operates an authentic water- and steam-powered historic site. The mission of Hanford Mills Museum is to inspire audiences of all ages to explore connections among energy, technology, natural resources and entrepreneurship in rural communities, with a focus on sustainable choices. The Museum, which is listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places, is open Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 am – 5 pm.

Children 12 and under, and Museum members receive free admission. Admission is $9 for adults and teens, $7 for seniors and AAA members, and $4.50 for retired military. Hanford Mills participates in the National Endowment for the Arts Blue Star Museum Initiative, so all active duty Military and their families receive free admission. Through the Museums for All program, anyone with an EBT card also receives free admission. East Meredith residents (13757) and nearby zip codes also get free admission. For more information, visit or call 607.278.5744.

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