July 1, 3, 4, 2017

An American Celebration” on July 4th is Strawbery Banke Museum’s annual salute to America, Independence Day and the joys of summer. Multiple generations make this their Fourth of July tradition, given the opportunity to enjoy the living history museum on a day that American history takes the spotlight.

At Strawbery Banke, the 15th annual An American Celebration extends the festivities all weekend long.  Offering something for everyone, from maritime art to a 1940s-style swing dance, each day’s events add something new to the Independence Day traditions. Sponsors include: BAE Systems, CPManagement, R.M. Davis, Marshall Rental and Cambridge Trust Company of New Hampshire.

SATURDAY, July 1st

American Lives: a Timeline of Historical Re-enactors

Event included with regular daily admission.

Celebrate America's diverse history in one of New Hampshire's oldest neighborhoods. In addition to historic houses and costumed roleplayers, discover special living history displays throughout the museum grounds, showcasing American History from the 1600s through the 1900s, including:

  • Native American Life
  • African American History
  • The Earliest Settlers
  • Golden Age of Pirates
  • Early American Crafts
  • Revolutionary and Civil War Soldiers
  • Colonial Age Medicine
  • Antique Cars
  • World War II Homefront Skills

MONDAY, July 3rd, 6-9 pm

1940’s Style Swing Dance

Jump, jive and swing to the music of the Beantown Swing Orchestra at a 1940s-style swing dance. Dance Lessons (free instruction with ticket to the dance) starts at 6 pm, and the band boogies from 7 pm to 9 pm.  Then watch the Portsmouth fireworks display from the vantage point of Strawbery Banke. Tickets are $20.  Sponsored in part by Cambridge Trust Company of New Hampshire. For tickets, click here.

TUESDAY, July 4th. FREE ADMISSION thanks to BAE Systems.

Naturalization Ceremony, 11 am
Celebrate America by welcoming new citizens at the US Naturalization Ceremony. A Museum favorite, come feel reinvigorated by the joy and patriotism shared by those who make their own special day on their new nation’s birthday.

Old-Fashioned Field Day, 10 am - 2 pm

Learn games played throughout the centuries as part of Strawbery Banke’s Old Fashioned Field Day. Visitors are invited to play a round of croquet, test their skill at marbles, have fun with hula hoops, and collect ribbons at 10 different games all over the museum grounds.

Patriotic parade around the museum grounds at 2 pm. Kids are invited to decorate their bikes, wagons, or hats from 10 am until the parade starts.

Shapiro House 20th Anniversary, 3-4 pm

Enjoy the music of the Raymond Street Klezmer Band and traditional Jewish foods under the tent then tour the Shapiro House with descendants who helped open the house for Strawbery Banke in 1997.


The Museum is open daily, 10 am to 5 pm. During a visit families will enjoy:

  • Furnished houses representing 300 years of history
  • Costumed role-players
  • Victorian Fairy Houses
  • Guided garden tours
  • Demonstrations of weaving, colonial hearth-cooking, basket weaving, and more.
  • Enjoy refreshments at Figtree Café at Strawbery Banke, and a delightful shopping experience for adults and kids at Pickwick’s at the Banke.

All activities except for the Swing Dance are included with regular museum admission.  July 4 admission is FREE. As a Blue Star Museum, Strawbery Banke admits active duty military and their families FREE. Strawbery Banke also admits veterans free.