George Washington (portrayed by actor Dean Malissa) welcomed guests to Mount Vernon estate the morning of July 4. After Washington inspected the troops from the First Virginia Regiment along the bowling green, tourists heard a reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Celebrations also included a 53rd annual Independence Day laying of the wreath and a ceremony to honor new citizens with a special Independence Day naturalization ceremony on the river side of the mansion. The National Concert Band performed patriotic songs. Guests flooded the bowling green to take in the daytime fireworks that exploded over the mansion. Afterwards, they were treated to cake in the shape of the American flag, Revolutionary War military music and military drills.
Throughout the day tourists had the opportunity to talk with reenactors from the world of General Washington as they strolled through the estate grounds.
During the Declaration of Independence portion of the program, Washington roused the troops and extolled the importance of independence as he told the crowd, “We raise up a nation for the first time in history, a nation based on ideals ... a free and sovereign nation that we celebrate this day.”