Many years ago, local schoolmaster, tavern keeper, store owner, and Oysterponds diarist, Augustus Griffin (1767-1866), began a tradition of the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th.

That reading grew into Heritage Day, an annual celebration where the Oysterponds community (comprised of East Marion and Orient, NY) comes together to celebrate this great country of ours and, especially, Oysterponds.

Regrettably, an in-person Heritage Day is just not possible this year. But Oysterponds Historical Society (OHS) and the community are hard at work producing a Virtual Heritage Day Parade—a parade consisting of photos and videos recreating the red, white and blue pageantry that we all would be otherwise experiencing in person on July 5th.

OHS is incorporating all the traditional elements of Heritage Day into a fun and celebratory virtual parade of patriotic images led by Orient Fire Department as Grand Marshall; the reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Old Point Schoolhouse steps; the singing of God Bless America; the Pledge of Allegiance—and much more!

A link for this celebration will be posted on the website and OHS’s Facebook page, and will be emailed to OHS’s entire email list.

OHS will share the details as July 5 draws nearer.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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