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A Revolutionary Approach to Independence Day

By Michelle Ligon (Special to The Mountain Times)

Article Published: Jul. 2 | Modified: Jul. 5
A Revolutionary Approach to Independence Day

Amanda Austin lights an effigy of King George III, during Hickory Ridge Living History Museum’s Independence Day celebration.

Photo by William Purcell

This is the fifth in a series of articles detailing the history and service of the Southern Appalachian Historical Association, producers of the celebrated outdoor drama, ‘Horn in the West,’ returning to the Daniel Boone Amphitheater June 27 to Aug. 16.

Of all Fourth of July celebrations, few are as authentic to actual Revolutionary War events as the observances at “Horn in the West” and Hickory Ridge Living History Museum.

With your choice of events from 5:30 to 10 p.m., spend a fun, as well as educational, evening with your family in the cool wooded surrounds of Daniel Boone Park.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., Hickory Ridge Living History Museum rallies 18th-century-style around a likeness of the former king of Britain, during its “Burning in Effigy of King George III.” Admission is by donation (recommended $3) and includes self-guided tours.

Museum volunteers provide written toasts to 13 audience volunteers and apple cider to all in attendance (while supplies last). Then, “colonist” Darrell King reads the Declaration of Independence.

Similar to historical events of the late 1700s, attendees make 13 toasts to 13 colonies, each toast followed with a black powder rifle salute. The dummy of the unpopular king is then burned in effigy to symbolize the colonies’ separation and declaration of independence from British rule.

After the special celebration, families explore Hickory Ridge Museum cabins and interact with docents in colonial attire through staff-guided or self-guided tours. Tickets for guided tours are available on site at the box office.

At 6:30 p.m., the on-site “Dinner with Dan’l” presents a scrumptious opportunity to fill up on Dan’l Boone Inn fare, including crispy Southern-fried chicken, country ham biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy and seasoned green beans, with stewed apples and strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Cost for adults is $15 and for children is $9. Advance reservations are required, and space is limited, so be sure to call (828) 264-2120 to secure your place at the table.

The pre-show begins at about 7:15 p.m., featuring the “Horn in the West” quartet. These talented singers in costume regale visitors with both humorous and tender songs.

The gates to “Horn in the West” open at 7:30 p.m., with the show beginning at 8 p.m. This season, Southern Appalachian Historical Association proudly presents this legacy outdoor drama with new production elements and updated sound system, which further enhance the inspiring story.

Set in the post-Revolution era, the play begins as Daniel Boone relates events of the Southern Campaign of the war to a young American boy. The portrayal of the plot through these two and other charming characters adds a palpable tone of warmth to the show that is not to be missed. It’s a great way to celebrate Independence Day.

Tickets are $20 for adult general admission and $10 for children 12 and younger (younger children, who don’t require their own seat, are admitted free). Premium seating and all-inclusive VIP packages are available. See, or call (828) 264-2120 for more information.

Additional Images

Amanda Austin lights an effigy of King George III, during Hickory Ridge Living History Museum’s Independence Day celebration.
Photo by William Purcell

Hickory Ridge reenactor Darrell King reads from the Declaration of Independence during 2012’s ‘Burning in Effigy of King George.’
Photo by William Purcell

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