When Americans celebrate the nation's 243rd birthday next week, Frankfort residents will have plenty of ways to mark the occasion.
The Fourth of July, also known as the United States' Independence Day, was established as a holiday by Congress in 1870 and marks the day that the Second Continental Congress adopted the final version of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Frankfort lends itself to being part of America's history by having been a state capital for centuries, said Sara Elliot, director of Liberty Hall Historic Site. In fact, Sen. John Brown, who resided at Liberty Hall, served in the American Revolution and in the Confederation Congress, she said.
"It's a microcosm of the history of the United States," Elliot said.
Below is a list of community events that will celebrate the Fourth.
Franklin County Farmers Market
Market Pavilion, 7 a.m. to noon
The Farmers Market will be open on the holiday so those with the day off can pick up fresh local produce. Community Engagement Coordinator Lisa Munniksma says fresh sweet corn will be available Thursday, making for a good side dish during a Fourth of July lunch.
River View Park, 6 p.m.
The Friends of the Farmers Market will also host the annual Whitaker Bank Farm to Table Dinner at River View Park rain or shine at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the Farmers Market’s website for $30. The meal will feature dressed eggs, coleslaw, potato salad, corn on the cob and more.
Juniper Hill Golf Course, all day
Juniper Hill Golf Association will host a golf classic throughout the day. To register, JHGA’s website states that participants can sign up at the Pro Shop.
Juniper Hill Ladies’ Golf Club will also have a tournament on July 4 called “Red, White and Blue,” and participants can choose holes from the corresponding colors. Players can make their own foursomes and choose their own tee time, according to the JHLGC website.
The Great Buffalo Chase 5K
Buffalo Trace Distillery, 8 a.m.
Buffalo Trace’s annual race returns for its 18th year. The Great Buffalo Chase 5K leads runners and walkers through the distillery’s grounds. The top three men and women in the race will receive a cash prize. Special awards will be given to those with the most patriotic attire. Registration is limited to the first 1,000 participants and is $25 to enter the race, according to Buffalo Trace’s website.
The Butterfly Greenhouse, 9 a.m.
The first 100 visitors to the Butterfly Greenhouse, located on the East-West Connector, will be able to release a monarch butterfly in the greenhouse with their regular admission tickets, which are $8 for ages 12 and up and $6 for ages four to 11. Children 3 years and younger are free.
Old-Fashioned Fourth of July
Liberty Hall Historic Site, 2-4 p.m.
This free community event will feature the Diamond Brass from the 202nd Army Band of the Kentucky National Guard. Attendees can play old-fashioned lawn games, run through sprinklers or compete in a sack race and enjoy free watermelon and lemonade. Hands-on activities will be available inside Liberty Hall. Hoggy’s Ice Cream will sell treats from its “Squeals on Wheels” cart throughout the event.
Fourth of July Celebration
Capitol View Park, starting at 7 p.m.
End the holiday with a fireworks display at the end of this event. Listen to Passport Radio 103.7 to hear a live countdown to the show and patriotic music. Passport Radio will have a tent with free popsicles, American flags and glow bracelets while supplies last.
On Wednesday, the Franklin County Democratic Executive Committee will host an Independence Day celebration on the Old Capitol lawn starting at 5 p.m. Various musical acts will perform, including The Good Shepherd Musical Ensemble and No Tools Loaned bluegrass band. Dance ensembles the Glitterbugs and Women's Suffrage will perform. Attendees should bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.