WILLIAMSTOWN -- A series of local traditions, including a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a baseball game, will make up the public July 4 celebrations for Northern Berkshire County on Wednesday.
Beginning at 11 a.m., the town's annual July 4 parade will march along Southworth, Main and Spring streets. It will end at the base of Spring Street, where hot dogs, chips, cold beverages, watermelons and cookies will be served to parade-goers for free. Music will be provided by the Flatbed Jazz Band, and the food will be supplied by Stop & Shop supermarkets and Williams College.
Judy Giamborino, executive director of the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that there will be about 34 to 38 groups participating in the parade.
Parade participants will include local officials, the American Legion Color Guard, nonprofits, farms, arts groups, the Williamstown Elementary School Band and members of the North Adams SteepleCats baseball team.
At 1:30 p.m., the Williams College Museum of Art, which is on Main Street, will host the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence and the British response.
According to Suzanne Silitch, associate director of communication for the arts at Williams, actress Heather Lind and actor Finn Wittrock will read the Declaration of Independence, while comedian Lewis Black will read the response.
Silitch said the July 4 project started as a collaboration between Williams' Chapin Library and the Williamstown Theatre Festival many years ago, and the museum became involved about five years ago.
Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the museum will be open for people to view original documents of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of the Confederation and Perpetual Union, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, George Washington's copy of "The Federalist" and the Treaty of Paris (1783), she said. Robert Volz, custodian of the Chapin Library, will be on hand after the reading to answer questions people may have about the documents, she said.
Evening activities will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the SteepleCats playing the Sandford Mainers at Joe Wolfe Field in North Adams. A fireworks display at the field will follow the game.
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