American Independence Festival. Fun in-person events on July 10th, 17th & 24!

This year’s American Independence Festival in Exeter will celebrated with modified in-person festival events held only on museum grounds! This beloved Exeter Festival will take place July 3 – July 24.

Join us Saturday, July 10, 17 & 24 for all the fun in-person festivities on museum grounds. Make sure to check back here throughout the week as we release virtual programming. We invite you to engage with us as we celebrate, commemorate, and learn.

2021 In-person Festival  Events
In person events will take place over the course of three Saturdays in July. Each day artisans and reenactors will be on site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A special anchor event will end each festival day with a concert, reenactment, or family program. Click each day below to find out who will be at the Festival that day.

  • July 10 Festival Events & Concert
  • July 17 Festival Events & British-French Military Reenactment
  • July 24 Festival Events & Family Camp Out
  • 2021 Virtual Programs
Saturday July 10, 2021

Modified Independence Festival filled with Artisans & Reenactor Groups


  • Linda Oakley – Needlework
  • Peter Oakley – Shoemaker
  • Peter Cook – Flax to Linen
  • Bill Wasson – Ropemaking

Reenactor Groups:

  • First Regiment of New Hampshire- special presentations at 11:30 a.m. & 2:45 p.m.
  • Ladies Association of Revolutionary America- special presentations at 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

Other Festival Highlights:
Meet “Black Jack” Staines- special presentations at 10:45 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:15 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
John Taylor Gilman Declaration Reading Reenactment- 2 p.m.

Ongoing programs:
Folsom Tavern tours
Hands-on family activities
Beer garden (12-6 p.m.)

Purchase Tickets

FREE Evening Event: Theo Martey and the Akwaaba Ensemble

The Fiddling Thomsons
End the Festival Day with an outdoor concert featuring master percussionist, dancer, and teacher, Theophilus Nii Martey. Originally from Ghana, West Africa and now living in Manchester, NH, Theo is a master of West African drumming and dance, a heritage that has many subtle variations in rhythmic patterns, dance styles, and costumes all specific to a wide diversity of tribal groups from the region. Theo started his drumming and dancing studies in Bukom Accra, Ghana at the age of 6, working under the wing of master drummers and dancers. As a young man, he journeyed to London, England and Australia where he studied with other master artists. Since moving to Manchester, he has founded the Akwaaba Drum and Dance Ensemble. The Akwaaba Ensemble’s energetic and engaging performances are a reflection of their name, which means ‘welcome’ in the Twi language of Ghana. They bring West African drumming and dance to vivid life, holding sway with the rich and subtle rhythmic patterns and styles specific to different tribal groups of West Africa. Concert is 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

This free concert is presented through sponsorship from Riverwoods Exeter.

*Visitors who are above the age of 2 and are vaccinated are no longer required to wear a mask outdoors. Following the CDC and NH DHHS guidelines, masks are required indoors at all times.

Saturday July 17, 2021

Modified Independence Festival filled with Artisans & Reenactor Groups.


  • Laurel Jamieson- Spinning and Weaving
  • Adam Hodges-LeClaire- Tailoring
  • Walter Hanson- Ranger in Colonial Times
  • R.P. Hale- Dulcimer

Reenactor Groups:

  • The 4th (King’s Own) Regiment of the Foot
  • 85th Régiment de Saintonge

FREE Evening Event – Historic Enemies and Rivals: European Armies in North America

Enjoy living history as two reenactor units of the British and French army perform military drills and engage in some friendly rivalry.

The British 4th (King’s Own) Regiment of the Foot and the French 85th Régiment de Saintonge find themselves at the American Independence Festival. Compare and contrast how these two professional armies look, set up camp, and fight.

Demonstrations may include:

  • Drills
  • Manual of Arms
  • Firing competition
  • Bayonet Fencing

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm. This evening program is free of charge.

Saturday July 24, 2021

Modified Independence Festival filled with Artisans & Reenactor Groups.


  • Steve Zoldak- Potter
  • Larry Leonard- Tinsmith
  • Chuck Walker- Horner
  • Ron Raiselis- Cooper
  • Tara Raiselis- Millinery

Reenactor Groups:

  • Acton Minutemen
  • Captain Dearborn’s Company
  • Danvers Alarm List Company

Purchase Tickets

Evening Event: Family Camp Out

Bring your tent and sleeping bag as you prepare to spend a night under the stars on the grounds of the American Independence Museum. You will prepare a snack, play games popular in Colonial America, sing 18th century songs around the fire while creating a take home craft and more! 7 p.m. – Sunday, July 25th at 9 a.m.

Limited to 30 individuals. Includes snacks and light breakfast.

Cost per person: $20 non-members, $15 members
Cost for a group of four: $75 non-members, $55 members
Purchase Tickets

About the American Independence Museum
The American Independence Museum is a history museum in Exeter, NH that features a collection of 3,000 historic artifacts that shed light on the American Revolution. Many of our programs touch on civics and the fight for independence, while we incorporate inclusivity and diversity into the experiences we create on-site and in digital formats. We feature a variety of things to do for people of all ages, including festivals, an historic tavern, guided tours and our annual American Independence Festival.



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