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HARTFORD, CT, June 8, 2004 - This Fourth of July, Connecticut - the fifth state admitted into the Union - will give travelers the freedom to choose from an array of patriotic celebrations, festivities and getaway packages, which are available in several quintessential, slice-of-Americana towns throughout the state - only a short drive away.

The Constitution State played an integral role in the American Revolutionary War, and its Fourth of July festivities will include parades, food festivals and a vintage baseball game. Most events will have plenty of activities for the entire family - not to mention spectacular firework displays. A sampling of Connecticut's "sparkling" Fourth of July festivities include:

Fourth Annual Hartford Vintage Base Ball Invitational - Hartford, CT
What is more American than enjoying a game of baseball with the family this Fourth of July weekend? The Fourth Annual Hartford Vintage Base Ball Invitational will put an old-fashioned spin to today's game as several of America's vintage baseball teams compete in tournaments adhering to the rules, manners, uniform styles and equipment used in the 1860s and 1880s. This fun invitational, which is free to the public, is the largest signature 19th century vintage baseball tournament in the country. Dates: Friday, July 2 - Sunday, July 4 at Bushnell Park. For more information, call (800) 730-8119 or log onto www.vbbf.com.

Independence Day Festival - Norwich, CT
Celebrate America's birthday at the Marina and Brown Park in Norwich. Travelers can take advantage of the festival's free admission and enjoy an old-fashioned firework display, which will be synchronized to music provided by a local radio station. Festivities include food, entertainment and games. Date: Sunday, July 4 beginning at 1:00 p.m. For more information, call (860) 886-6363.

Independence Day Holiday Celebration - Mystic, CT
No hoop skirt or handlebar mustache required as travelers are transported back into time to experience an authentic 1870s Children's Parade. The celebration, held at Mystic Seaport, will also include patriotic ceremonies and an old-fashioned spelling bee for children. Admission is $17 for adults, $9 for children (6-12) and children 5 and under get in free. Date: Sunday, July 4 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information, call (888) 9SEAPORT or visit www.mysticseaport.org.

21st Lobster Festival and Chicken Barbeque - Niantic, CT
If eating is on the menu this Fourth of July, travelers can check out the 21st Lobster Festival and Chicken Barbeque in Eastern Connecticut. Held on the grounds of the Town Hall, the festival features an array of foods, including: lobster, corn on the cob, barbeque chicken, fried dough, chowder and more. In addition, visitors can shop at an arts and crafts show. Dates: July 3-4. For more information, call (860) 739-9271.

Norwalk Patriot Days - Norwalk, CT
Although not held on Fourth of July, but still celebrating America's fight for freedom from the British crown, families can travel to Norwalk for the town's Patriot Days, which commemorate the 225th Anniversary of the Burning of Norwalk. Celebrate the Past, Inc., the non-profit organization presenting the series, will offer a selection of events leading up to a major re-enactment of the battle. This year's event will feature a Revolutionary War Encampment at Veteran's Memorial Park, and a re-enactment of the Flax Hill battle throughout the streets of Norwalk. Dates of re-enactments: Saturday, July 10-Sunday, July 11. For more information, call (203) 229-0533.

The Constitution State offers great fireworks displays including RiverFest (Saturday, July 3) in Hartford; Fourth of July Celebration (Sunday, July 4) in Bristol and 3-D Fireworks Display at Quassy Amusement Park (Sunday, July 4) in Middlebury.

To find great getaway packages and values in Connecticut this July 4th, travelers can also visit the Connecticut Tourism Division's website at www.ctbound.org and click onto Specials. With one simple click, a list appears highlighting some of the hottest deals around the state. All essential information - including a description of the package, dates of availability and contact information - is clearly outlined, plus some direct links are provided to each individual property and attraction mentioned in the package. For suggested itineraries already created by the state, log onto www.ctbound.org and select from one of the 52 Getaways.

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Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism
Ed Dombroskas
Tourism Division Director
Tel: (860) 270-8080
E-mail: edward.dombroskas@po.state.ct.us


Mark Twain's Connecticut

  1. Immerse yourself in Mark Twain's time. The Mark Twain House (c.1874) 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford, I-84 Exit 46-the site of his happiest time- has rare Louis Comfort Tiffany interiors. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, lived next door. Tour both Victorian houses. Then be sure to see the firearms collection of Twain's friend, manufacturer Sam Colt, at the Museum of Connecticut History...

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