Greater Morristown (virtual) weekend preview: Independence Day weekend

Tom Winslow of the National Park Service recites Declaration of Independence at July 4, 2018, celebration on the Morristown Green. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Tom Winslow of the National Park Service recites Declaration of Independence at July 4, 2018, celebration on the Morristown Green. Photo by Kevin Coughlin


Compiled by Nicholas Voltaggio

In a “normal” year, the Fourth of July Weekend means barbecues, beaches and fireworks.

Of course, 2020 is no normal year. For all Americans, the threat of viral transmission remains real, and vigilance is necessary to keep our families and fellow community members safe.

Yet there’s no need to completely abstain from patriotic celebrations.

As the reopening process slowly but steadily unfolds in New Jersey, outdoor recreation is becoming more safe and accessible. Countless organizations are working diligently to create meaningful opportunities for all.

While park rangers in Revolution-era attire will not, as they typically do, proudly proclaim the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence from the Morristown Green, they will be doing so over Facebook.

On Saturday, from 8 to 10 pm, NBC is broadcasting the Macy’s Firework Display, bringing the annual event to households and mobile devices across the country.

At your convenience, you can replay last week’s fireworks show by the Borough of Morris Plains.

Around history-rich Morristown, opportunities to explore and experience the American Revolution are returning.

On June 24th, the Morristown National Historical Park re-opened to visitors for passive recreation. So go explore Fort Nonsense and Jockey Hollow!

Alexander Hamilton courted his future bride in Morristown; his statue stands on the Green. While you can’t see his story on Broadway–the Great White Way is closed for the rest of the year–you can enjoy Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton on Disney Plus, starting Friday.  The production features the original cast, filmed in 2016.

Tune in to learn a little more about the origins of our nation, and the virtues and shortcomings of our Founding Fathers.

With all the crises gripping our country, from the painful process of addressing racial inequity to the struggles surrounding the coronavirus and the government’s response to it, it may feel hard to partake in a celebration of bold, unbridled patriotism.

But America has never been perfect. It is the great, bold experiment that each of us must work towards perfecting each and every day.

This might be the Independence Day for taking a deep dive into the history of the Declaration of Independence, or examining the realities of the African-American experience — perhaps by viewing 13th on Netflix, or reading The New Jim Crow.

Try, if you can, to celebrate our shared successes and embrace the nation’s unbounded potential. Let’s all commit to doing our part to bring to fruition the ideals professed on July 4th, 1776 — for that is the truest act of patriotism.

Scroll down for events, real and virtual. Check our handy calendar for even more activities–and add your own events, too.


Who needs to sit outside swatting mosquitoes, when you can enjoy VIRTUAL fireworks from the air-conditioned comfort of home?  These pyrotechnics are courtesy of the Borough of Morris Plains.

The Morristown and Morris Township Library has prepared an extensive array of videos on its YouTube channel, including book recommendations, storytime sessions for families, and read-alouds for beginning and young adult readers. Videos are added regularly.

As hard as the Morris School District is working to perfect the virtual education experience, it’s difficult to replicate a field trip. Luckily for students and families, Grow It Green Morristown has created a virtual visit to its Urban Farm. 

The Lab, a multimedia endeavor of Arts By The People, is offering high school students a chance to express themselves by creating either a one-minute video or a one-page poetry or prose composition. The theme: My World During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Check out the latest virtual exhibit from Morris Arts,  Vanishing Worlds.

Opera at Florham is posting videos of its past events, featuring young opera singers in 10 performances.

Take a virtual walking tour with the Morris County Tourism Bureau.

Catch an original short film, courtesy of the Thomas Edison Media Arts Consortium and Black Maria Films — and try one of their healthy recipes for “dinner and a show” in the comfort of home.

Dissonance, the Morris Museum’s virtual exhibition, looks at disorder and tension.



Join the Morristown and Township Library for its 7 pm Book Lovers’ Circle, online via the free app GoToMeeting. The event is open to anyone who wants to share an appreciation for great books and newly released titles. More information about the discussion, as well as an extensive calendar of virtual library events, is available here. Other notable events include a Foreign Film Lovers’ Club that meets on alternate Wednesdays, as well as regular meditation and yoga sessions, all available virtually.


Start your Friday with yoga led by Munah Hayes at 9:30 am. The weekly session is offered virtually by the Morristown and Morris Township Library.

At 7 pm, the Folk Project presents another live-streamed  Acoustic Stayaway concert, this time featuring Oregon singer, songwriter, and poet David Jacobs-Strain, whose influences range from performers such as Robert Johnson and Jackson Browne. Free, with voluntary donations going to the artist.

Singer-songwriter Carla Ulbrich specializes in making people laugh. Check out her free concert series at 7:30 pm, on YouTube and Facebook.

More laughs–and PPE resources for frontline medical workers–are coming from National Lampoon, which streams a comedy show at 8 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. Host Harrison Greenbaum welcomes popular comedic guests, while raising funds for the COVID Foundation


The Morris Plains Farmers’ Market is back, every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, until October 10, 2020. Fresh fruits and vegetables, all from local farms; Italian specialties include pastas, meats, and cheeses., will also be available for purchase. Safety protocols will be followed, for everyone’s health.

Although live concerts still may be a ways off, the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey is in an Independence Day mood at 10 am for Bach, Bagels, and Bob. Bob, that is Maestro Robert Butts, is joined this week by orchestra musicians Roosevelt Porter, Rozie Dumas, Evan Ardelle, and Lee Doswell. Listeners also will hear works by American composers such as George Chadwick and Scott Joplin. Register here.

Tom Winslow and Eric Olsen lead the traditional 13 toasts,
July 4, 2019, Morristown Green. Photo by Jeff Sovelove

Enjoy the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence from the safety of your home this Fourth of July Weekend. At 1 pm, the Morris County Tourism Bureau and Morristown National Historical Park are moving their annual reading of the revolutionary document from the Morristown Green to Facebook. The event will include information of the document’s history as well as an enthusiastic and impassioned reading.

Fresh off the release of her EP Classic, singer Brynn Stanley shares her silky stylings and girl-next-door charm from her living room, every week at 8 pm


The Morristown Farmers’ Market is back for its 30th season. It runs from 8:30 am until 2 pm every Sunday until Nov. 22, behind the Morristown Post Office in Municipal Lot 10, between Morris Street and Dumont Place.  Safety protocols will be maintained for everyone’s health.

The Folk Project presents Joe Guzzo’s Stayaway Sundays Show at 3 pm. Guzzo shares performances and interviews with Folk Project favorites.

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