Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day 2018

We did a lot on Independence Day this year. We began by celebrating the holiday with our neighbors at the neighborhood breakfast hosted every year by the Peterson family.

I am always looking for ways to infuse learning into the activities we do as a family. This year we attended the Colonial Heritage Festival in Orem. There was so much to do and see that we didn't get a chance to do everything we wanted before running out of energy.

The festival had an area where children could learn about typical chores kids had during the 1700's. Carson, Emilia, and Stella all got to spin wool, made rope out of straw and carried buckets of water.

There was a lot of information about the early colonies, English and rebel soldiers, as well as information about daily living for frontier men and women.

What amazed me most is how many of these demonstrators continue to live the traditions they were displaying. For example I met a woman who still makes lace from handwoven wool, following the same process utilized centuries ago.  I also me a couple who hunt, skin, process and dye leather. The husband was showing people the different types of leather and colors and explaining the process by which the skins absorbed colors.

There were whole families, including elementary-age children demonstrating the process of creating cotton/rag paper and how to the printing press worked. There was even a casket maker who displayed his work and still manufactures rustic (and more elaborate) casket for sale.

Our last stop, on our way out, was the 1900's military base. They had a Korean War, WWI, and WW2 section for people to tour. They also had several vehicles on display that children could climb into and pretend to drive.

One of the most interesting areas was the code-breaking demonstration, where a soldier demonstrated to us how the Enigma machine used by the Germans during WW2 worked. How it evolved over time and how the Polish and later Allies were able to decode those messages and help win the war.

After our visit to the Colonial Heritage Festival, we headed home and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon and evening with Todd's family who came over for a BBQ and to watch Captain America on the big screen.

It was a truly enjoyable, albeit busy day.