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While it has become well known for all kinds of dramatic displays, including battle reenactments, cannon firings and more, the main objectives behind the annual American Independence Festival are education and honoring those who serve.

“It is important people take something tangible away with them when they leave the Festival,” said Abby Pietrantonio, education manager at the American Independence Museum, which presents the Festival each year. “What happened here in New Hampshire and across the 13 Colonies during that time has helped shape who we are as Americans today.”

It is this mission that has attracted Service Credit Union as one of the Museum’s major sponsors for 2016. Aimée Sundstrom, marketing manager at Service Credit Union, said she believes the Festival plays an important role in furthering its own mission.

“We are here to serve and honor those who serve,” she said. “The Museum—and the Festival in particular—helps highlight the role that the military played in providing us with the freedoms we enjoy today.”

Citing the support of nearly two dozen businesses and corporations already in 2016, Museum Executive Director Julie Williams said the crown jewel of the Festival is its collection, which will be evidenced by three rare documents.

“We will have a ‘Broadside’ copy of the Declaration of Independence on display and two working draft copies of the U.S. Constitution,” she said. “The public usually cannot see these items, because we must be very careful with how they are handled and displayed. The Festival is the only chance to see them in New Hampshire this year.”

In addition to Service Credit Union, major sponsors of the Festival and the Museum include Hoefle Phoenix Gormley & Roberts, P.A. Attorneys at Law, Two International Group, AutoFair, Geico, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and Ruffner Real Estate. Additional support is provided by Foy Insurance, Chinburg Properties, RiverWoods, Access Sports, and The Farm at Eastman’s Corner.

Featuring historic battle re-enactments, colonial demonstrations, children’s activities, cannons that fire throughout the day, crafts, music, food and more, the annual Independence Festival is the signature event of the American Independence Museum in Exeter.

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