OREM — The Crandall Historical Printing Museum's Colonial Days, which is part of America's Freedom Festival at Provo, will kick off today at 10 a.m. with a parade on Center Street in Provo.

Colonial Days is a free, four-day event located in downtown Provo that celebrates America's colonial heritage, and organizers say there are plenty of reasons for the public to be interested. Colonial Days spokeswoman Linda P. Walton said the event is intended to show people what life was like in colonial times.

The public is invited to see how colonial people dressed, cooked and sewed and how candles, butter, baskets and other crafts were made. There also will be demonstrations on making pewter buttons and spoons, blacksmithing and musket demonstrations.

"It's not only entertaining," Walton said, "but it's educational."

Every hour or so, a bell will toll throughout Colonial Square and call the militia together for a military muster. Visitors also shouldn't be surprised if they run into colonial personalities like George Washington walking around thesquare. And not only is there a chance to see colonial leaders in period clothing, but visitors might catch of glimpse of current leaders as well.

"We've heard a rumor that the mayor, Lewis Billings, is going to be dressed in colonial garb," Walton said, "which would include knickers — I think there are a lot of people that would pay to see that."

In addition to all of the demonstrations, Colonial Days will feature a Jamestown, Va., Powhatan American Indian village and a scale replica of part of the Mayflower.

"If you've never been able to really visualize what it was like to cross the Atlantic in a little boat," Walton said, "you can get a feel for it."

Walton said Colonial Days, in its second year, is expected to attract four times the 25,000 visitors who showed up for last year's event.

"I think it's a combination of the fact that we've pretty much publicized this nationally, so we've been in contact with travel and tourism bureaus in every state in the union, and there are people that actually follow this kind of thing," Walton said. "You have some people that go to rodeos and some people that like drag racing, and then there's other people that go to this kind of thing."

Visitors can stop by the Crandall Historical Printing Museum to see printing demonstrations on the Benjamin Franklin press. On-site at Colonial Days, visitors also will be able to see an original copy of the U.S. Constitution commissioned when the document celebrated its 50th anniversary, as well as original letters written by some of the Founding Fathers.

A constable also should be on patrol, looking to stick miscreants into the stocks.

Live entertainment for the event will include a production of the theatrical show "We The People." The public is invited to watch the free show at the Provo Tabernacle today and Thursday at 6 p.m and 8 p.m. and Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Those interested also can watch "Patriots in Petticoats" at the Colonial Theater today and Thursday at 5 and 7 p.m. as well as Friday and Saturday at 1, 3 and 5 p.m.

To cap off the entertainment, Colonial Days will host a concert featuring Nathan Osmond and guests at the Colonial Theater on Saturday at 8 p.m.

If you go ...

What: Crandall Historical Printing Museum's Colonial Days, part of America's Freedom Festival at Provo

Where: 275 E. Center, Provo

When: Today through Saturday, 10 a.m. until sundown


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