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Mathis Ham Historic Site reopens for season with modified Fourth of July celebration

The Mathias Ham Historic Site will reopen on July 2 with a modified Fourth of July celebration. What was to be its 57th annual Fourth of July Ice Cream Social will, given the current pandemic, be modified for 2020 into a multiday series called Independence Days held July 2 – 4 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Independence Days will feature small group Ham House tours with interpreters stationed throughout the home. From candle making to homemade ice cream to creating Victorian posies, each day will feature a live demonstration. On July 4, the Americana Band will play on the lawn for guests and passersby. In a nod to the annual ice cream social, individually packaged ice cream treats will be provided to guests in partnership with Prairie Farms during the celebration, while supplies last.

“We welcomed nearly 3,000 guests to last year’s Fourth of July Ice Cream Social,” said Victoria Cote, Historic Site Coordinator. “We knew for the safety of the masses, we had to rethink our plan for this year and find a meaningful way to celebrate the holiday safely.”

Health and safety modifications at the site include increased sanitation procedures. Guests will also be encouraged to wear masks on-site, specifically in the Ham House.

Tickets to Independence Days, which include self-guided house tours, interpreters stationed throughout the property, a new exhibit, historic demonstrations, and ice cream, are just $7.50 for adults and $4.00 for youth ages 3-17. They can be purchased online at rivermuseum.com/hamsite or upon arrival in the gift shop.

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