Hometown history

Hillsborough celebrates Independence with picnic, parade and pony rides
Jul. 04, 2014 @ 10:20 PM

Any worries of heat or rain were quashed Friday morning as residents and visitors flooded into the historic town of Hillsborough to celebrate Independence Day.

Hillsborough itself is steeped in history, from being the home of William Hooper, one of the signers of the Declarations of Independence to the War of Regulation. The town has its history, and those celebrating the Fourth of July were proud of that history.

Kay Stagner and her daughters Hannah and Lily came out to Hillsborough to celebrate the holiday for the first time.

“It’s the thing to do and the place to be (today),” Kay Stagner said. She grew up in Hillsborough and works at a community organization in town, but she lives in Efland.

“It’s the ideal summer thing,” Lily Stagner said.

For Kay Stagner’s daughters, being able to spend time as a family and celebrate the history of the town was a big draw.

Lily Stagner said she’s always been proud of the history surrounding Hillsborough.

Another big draw for the Stagners was hearing the reading of the Declaration of Independence, something none of them had heard before.

“It was an experience,” Kay Stagner said.

She’d been hearing about the celebration for quite some time through social media and her coworkers.

“It was really advertised well,” she said. “I can’t imagine having grown up here how cool it would have been to have it (back then).”

The town had celebrations throughout the day, starting at 9 a.m. with a parade, followed by the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Then, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. there was a picnic in the park featuring pony rides, lawn games, food trucks and live music.

The atmosphere was lively, and the weather was perfect for the celebration. Families milled about eating and taking in the sights Many younger families flocked toward the pony rides, but that wasn’t the only draw for those families.  

Anahid Vrana has two young grandchildren, and being able to pass on the history to them as well as have some family fun was a draw.

Vrana lives between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, but makes trips to the town on a weekly basis and saw the Independence Day celebration as a “family friendly, community-based” opportunity.

It also provided her an opportunity to share the history of Independence Day with her grandchildren, Charlotte and Harrison Schutt.

They caught the tail end of the reading of the Declaration of Independence, but Vrana said people were passing out American flags, and for 2 ½ -year-old Harrison, it was his first flag.

“The Fourth of July is all about America, families and freedom,” she said. “The town of Hillsborough couldn’t do it any better.”

For Kay Stagner, the celebration is just one of the reasons why she takes pride her hometown.

“I’m proud to say I’m from Hillsborough,” she said. “It has a lot to be proud of.”