USA flag to fly for Independence Day in the original Washington

July 4 celebrations at Washington Old Hall last year.
July 4 celebrations at Washington Old Hall last year.
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The star-spangled banner will be raised over Washington Old Hall tomorrow for the Fourth of July celebrations.

The Wearside ancestral home of America’s first president provides the venue for the event, organised in partnership by the National Trust, Friends of Washington Old Hall and Sunderland City Council.

An Independence Day commemoration event begins at 11am with musical entertainment from City Swing and a guest welcome.

The flag-raising ceremony forms part of a full day of free family entertainment at the hall, which is celebrating 60 years of being open to the public.

During the programme of events there will also be a reading from the Declaration of Independence and singing of the American national anthem. Youngsters from Broadway Junior School, John F Kennedy Primary school, George Washington Primary School and Broadway Junior School, will all be taking part in the event.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran, said: “When I became Mayor of Sunderland this was one of the annual events I most looked forward to, representing the people of our city at an occasion which symbolises our unique links with the United States and its capital.

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

“I’m delighted that our guest from the American Capital Jon Gann is here to raise the flag during his stay in our city as we celebrate the first Sunderland Shorts Film Festival.

“The event is all about celebrating our shared past, but also an opportunity to look forward to our shared future.”

National Trust, assistant director of operations, Robyn Brown, said: “The annual July 4 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.”