Experience ‘bygone ways of family fun’ at Rock Ledge Ranch July 4

       Independence Day, 19th century style, will be celebrated at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site Tuesday, July 4.
       Visitors can listen to live patriotic music, attend recitations of famous national writings by historic impersonators, play old-fashioned games and see replications of Civil War and Buffalo Soldier cavalry encampments.
       The annual event will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prices range from $6 for adults to discount prices for students, seniors and children, to free admission for active military with ID (and their immediate family) and for ages 6 and under.
       “It's a way to get back to the friendly part of America, and at the same time educate kids in the bygone ways of good family fun,” said Ron Wright, president of Rock Ledge's Living History Association, a group of trained volunteers who dress in period clothing and interpret ranch activities for visitors.
       Here is the schedule:
  • All day: Carnival games in the barn (tickets 50 cents each); encampments by the armies of the North and South under the trees by the sheep paddock, a Buffalo soldier encampment near the Rock Ledge House; demonstrations at the blacksmith's shop; hay rides; and interpreter-led tours of the ranch's four historic sites.
  • 11 a.m., “America the Beautiful,” read by Katherine Lee Bates, at the Rock Ledge House.
  • 11:30 a.m., “Civil War Medicine and Surgery” - a presentation by Bob Mallin, M.D., of the Pecos National Historic Park in Pecos, N.M.
  • Noon and 1 pm., patriotic music by the Fountain Creek Brass Band outside the Orchard House.
  • 12:30 p.m., the Declaration of Independence, read by General William Palmer, in front of the Orchard House.
  • 12:30-2:30 p.m., watermelon-eating contests next to the blacksmith's shop.
  • 2 and 2:30 p.m., the Gettysburg Address, read by President Abraham Lincoln at the Galloway Homestead cabin.
           Picnics are welcome for people bringing their own food. There also will be hot dog and ice cream vendors, and sarsparilla and birch beer will be on sale in the Rock Ledge store.
           The 230-acre ranch, owned by the City of Colorado Springs, is located in the Garden of the Gods, southwest of 30th Street and Gateway Road.
           For more information, call 578-6777.

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