Celebrations announced for 4th of July event at Washington Old Hall

Pupils from Broadway Junior School in Sunderland hold Fourth of July celebrations at Washington Old Hall in 2015.
Pupils from Broadway Junior School in Sunderland hold Fourth of July celebrations at Washington Old Hall in 2015.
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The star spangled banner will be raised over Washington Old Hall on Monday as part of the annual 4th July celebrations this Monday.

The ancestral home of America's first president will again play host to events organised in partnership by the National Trust, Friends of Washington Old Hall and Sunderland City Council.

The Independence Day commemoration event begins at 11am, in the 10th anniversary year of Sunderland signing the Friendship Agreement with Washington DC.

The celebratory programme begins at 11am with musical entertainment from 'City Swing' and a welcome from the general manager at the National Trust, Mick Wilkes and includes;

- A reading from the ‘Declaration of Independence’ by Thomas Crawford on behalf of Sunderland Youth Parliament

- Raising the Flag of the United States of America. The flag is presented by a student from Washington School wearing the Washington Grey’s uniform of George Washington’s bodyguard

- The singing of the American National Anthem

- ‘The Dream’ a nation of all people by Martin Luther King; read by Rebecca Robinson from Monkwearmouth Academy

- Presentations on the theme of Aspiration by George Washington Primary School, John F Kennedy Primary school, Monkwearmouth Academy and Broadway Junior School

- A short address by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alan Emerson

- The singing of ‘Battle hymn of the Republic’ led by Broadway Junior School

-‘ Letters from America’: Extracts of letter supplied by Tudor Place in DC from George Washington to Martha after his appointment as commander of the Continental Army, read by Mick Wilkes

- Close of Ceremony with closing remarks from Mick Wilkes

- Exit music from City Swing

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alan Emerson, said: “As Mayor of Sunderland this is one of the annual events everyone looks forward to, and the honour of representing our community at an occasion which symbolises our unique links with the United States and its capital city.

"The Friendship Agreement between our city and Washington DC is something we can all be very proud of, and something which continues to create significant benefits.

"This year marks the 10th Anniversary of our partnership with Washington DC, and a Friendship Agreement which further strengthens our shared cultural heritage and cultural and economic futures.

“Today also gives us the opportunity to remember the hard work and aspiration of Fred Hill and the Preservation Committee who saved and restored Washington Old Hall for us all to enjoy today.”

National Trust, General Manager, Mick Wilkes, added: “The annual 4th July celebrations are something we look forward to every year – it’s a fantastic time to recognise the work that we do with the city of Sunderland to look after an important and very special historic place, and to mark the unique relationship we have with our friends in Washington DC.”