GCV&M celebrates American history and chocolate this July

By on July 1, 2019

Summer at Genesee Country Village & Museum will bring the sights and sounds of America’s history to life with a celebration of our nation’s birth, a reflection on its Civil War, and a taste of one of our country’s favorite treats, chocolate. 

Kicking off the month, the Museum will mark the Fourth of July with a day of fun and games for the whole family at the Independence Day Celebration. In addition to sack races, pie-eating contests, and picnics, the ladies’ baseball teams will be having a Town Ball match in the afternoon right on the Great Meadow, so guests can bring a lawn chair or blanket and take in a game while enjoying a burger or hot dog from the Museum’s Depot Restaurant. Throughout the Historic Village, marching bands and a parade will lend a festive air. The real pinnacle of the day, however, will be the official swearing in of forty brand-new United States Citizens at a naturalization ceremony in the Village Square. This occasion tops off what is fittingly the longest-running event in the Museum’s history.

On July 13 and 14, the museum will turn to sweeter pursuits for Celebrating Chocolate Weekend. For these two days, guests can immerse themselves in the history of this versatile and popular food while sampling close to a dozen chocolate creations, both sweet and savory. On offer will be bon bons, squash and cocoa soup, chocolate tea, and much more, plus the Museum’s Confectionary will have sweets for sale, to take home.

Throughout July, GCV&M will be highlighting special aspects of history through intensive week-long explorations, including Inventors and Inventions Week from July 9 through 12, and 19th-Century Authors Week from July 30 through August 2. Guests can also visit the George Eastman boyhood home as the Museum celebrates Eastman’s 165th birthday on Friday, July 12 with lemon cake and activities throughout the day.

The month wraps up with the Civil War Re-enactment and Encampment on July 20 and 21, one of the most popular – and impressive – events of the season. Nearly 1,000 reenactors will take over the village and transform it into a thrilling battleground, hosting four battles over the course of two days. This year, the participants will re-create the Battle of Rutherford’s Farm, fought in Frederick County, Virginia, in July of 1864. In addition to the action on the battlefield, the Museum will be offering several in-depth talks by special guests on topics ranging from Canadian engagement in the war to communities established by freed people and politics of the era. Another must-see will be the rousing speeches given each day by Frederick Douglass, as portrayed by historian David Shakes. New this year will be a photography class offered by Tetamore Photographic which will teach aspiring photographers how to capture the quick action and complex subject matter the battles offer. Pre-registration is required for this enhanced experience. 

The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., during the regular season. General admission is $18 adults, $15 seniors, $10 youth, free for children three and under. Special event pricing may vary, visit www.gcv.org or call 538-6822 for details.

Provided information

Union unit in battle. Photo by Dave Valvo

Union unit in battle. Photo by Dave Valvo.


Fourth of July swearing in of new citizens at the Town Hall. Photo by Ruby Foote

Fourth of July swearing in of new citizens at the Town Hall. Photo by Ruby Foote