KATONAH, N.Y.― This Fourth of July, Friends of John Jay Homestead and the Rotary Club of Bedford-Armonk are throwing the homestead’s first Independence Day Fair.
At Wednesday’s fair, a George Washington re-enactor will give a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the historic home. Another Revolutionary War re-enactor playing Col. David Humphreys, Washington’s aide de camp, will ride in on horseback to announce the president.
The fair will feature hayrides, live music from three bands, log cutting, sheep herding, bee keeping and blacksmith demonstrations along with hot dogs and hamburgers from the grill and an apple pie contest.
To amuse the children, the fair has Colonial-era games like potato sack and three-legged races and Colonial crafts. The Bedford Riding Association has donated Icelandic ponies for a petting zoo.
Abbott Fleur, founding president of the two-year-old Bedford-Armonk Rotary and homestead volunteer, said it was decided to combine the homestead’s annual summertime country fair with the Rotary’s Independence Day festival, which was held at the homestead for the first time last year.
“I was speaking [with Friends of John Jay Homestead] last year and they said that every year on the Fourth of July they read the Declaration of Independence, they have about 300 people come and then everyone goes home,” said Fleur, so they merged the concept into a joint fundraiser to take place on that day.
All proceeds will go to support the local and international charitable efforts of the Rotary Club and Friends of John Jay Homestead.
Fleur said that one of the Rotary’s major projects this year is donating a fire engine to a town in Bolivia.
Fleur said the money the club raises "doesn’t go anywhere except to our international projects and some of our other projects.”
Other beneficiaries of the Rotary include the Open Door Community Center and Polio Plus.
Admission to the grounds and reading are free; food, house tours and some special activities are available by ticket purchase.
The fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic site at 400 Jay St., in Katonah. For more information, call (914) 234-5698.