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Echoes of Freedom: Celebrating the Fourth of July at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, built and designed only 2 homes himself, and one of them is right in our backyard. Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, located in Bedford County, was Jefferson's retreat house where he spent time throughout the year.

Poplar Forest is open 7 days a week and offers many wonderful tours of the house and the land that Jefferson and his family actually lived on. You can tour the main level of the house as well as many self guided exhibits they have at the property. Poplar Forest is in the midst of a major renovation project for the 1857 Slave Dwelling, which is the only intact slave quarters on the property. Along with the restoration and tours, they also have an archaeology dig currently in process that you can visit on site and talk to the very talented archaeologists who are working there. 

On the 4th of July, Poplar Forest will host their Independence Day Celebration from 10AM-4PM. This is a big colonial fair filled with different daytime events and historical interpreters, tradesmen, and interpreters. In addition to all these activities, there will be a historical reading of the Declaration of Independence at the end of the event, done by a Thomas Jefferson interpreter.

"This is a very family friendly event with lots of activities and so we want lots of families and kids to come out and have a great time,” said Mary Massie, Director of Programs and Education.

Some activities include brick making, game of graces (a game which was played during colonial times) and even a petting zoo. Tours of the house itself will also still be available that day as well with a discounted rate in celebration of the 4th. 

Following the 4th of July Celebration, Poplar Forest will host the 12th annual Face the Forest Obstacle Course 5k on Saturday, August 17th. Challenge yourself to beat the clock as you take on a 3.1 mile obstacle race through the grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest plantation, encountering exciting obstacles along the way! The entry fee of $40 will help support children’s educational programming at Poplar Forest. The competition is open to families and teams of all ages, and a Face the Forest T-shirt will be provided.

With all these events coming up, Poplar Forest is looking for volunteers to help these amazing days happen. Listed below are some links to the volunteer opportunities that Poplar Forest currently has:

To learn more about all these upcoming events with Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, visit the Poplar Forest Share Greater Lynchburg profile. To see our interview with Mary Massie on The Mike Show, click here.

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