We know it as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, and assume that it has always been a holiday. But July Fourth has only been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941. Any child who has taken an elementary school social studies module, however, will remind us that the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution, 1775 to 1783.
In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies, fighting in the revolutionary struggle, weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.
On Saturday, July 4, folks from all over the Big Walnut area will gather in Sunbury for the 2015 Sunbury Independence Day Celebration.
• Antiques, Arts & Crafts Fair on the Square, 7 a.m., to 3 p.m.
• Big Walnut 5K Freedom Walk/Run will start and end on Sunbury Square. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m.; the race begins at 7:30 a.m. For additional information or to preregister online go to the Premier Races website at < premierraces.com >.
• 16th Annual Corey Lehman Memorial Volleyball Tournament gets underway at Big Walnut High School at 9 a.m. Contact Janet Lehman for tournament information and to let her know if you have a team playing in the tournament. Email < email@example.com >.
• Bikes & Trikes participants should gather at the southwest corner of Granville and Columbus Streets at 9:30 a.m. for judging and then enter the parade as it goes by.
• Sunbury Independence Day Parade, Star Spangled Salute, begins at 10 a.m. and will honor Vietnam Era Veterans, escorted by the 122nd Army Band, Ohio Army National Guard. Vietnam era veterans who wish to be in the parade are encouraged to contact Donna Evans as soon as possible via email at < firstname.lastname@example.org >.
• The Columbus Saints Drum & Bugle Corps will perform on Sunbury Square immediately following the parade
• Community Cookout, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Wayne Miller, Eagle Auto Repair and the Chamber of Commerce.
• KidZone on the Square, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. KidZone featuring free bounce house fun, fun frolics games and more. Adults must accompany children at all times; adults must pay the $1 square admission charge.
• Football Skills Punt, Pass & Kick Contest at JR Smith Park following the parade hosted by members of the Big Walnut Youth Athletic Association. Sign-ups for the 2015 BWYAA football season will be held until 2 p.m. at the park.
As always, late in the day activities move to Big Walnut High School for the 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. community party and July Fourth Fireworks Spectacular. At approximately 10 p.m., the Big Walnut area’s Community Fireworks display begins.
For additional information about the Sunbury/Big Walnut Area Fourth of July Celebration contact the Sunbury/Big Walnut Area Chamber of Commerce office at 740-965-2860, or log on to < sunburybigwalnutchamber.com >.