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貝京鎮七月四日慶祝大會始於1830年。當時的慶祝活動只有對空鳴槍及零星的煙火表演。現在的慶祝活動則廣受歡迎,前來致詞的著名演講者包括國會成員、州長、大學校長、法官、部長及教師。鎮上居民只有1,500人,但慶典舉辦期間,鎮上人口會飆漲十倍,參加人數最多可達15,000 人。

過去的表演節目包括了餘興節目及樂團演出,包括演奏"1776軍樂團的精神"(Spirit of 1776 Martial Band)。但貝京鎮七月四日慶祝大會的真正高潮是它的大遊行。早期,當火車仍是大部分人的交通工具時,人們會相約在火車站,而遊行就從此處開始。現在,遊行仍是當天的主要大事,而遊行的行列中則可見樣式新穎的車子及卡車、各種不同型式的花車、腳踏車及馬背上的騎士。

Most towns have some kind of celebration on the Fourth of July, but only the town of Pekin in southern Indiana can boast that it has the longest continually running celebration in the country. Can you guess when it first started celebrating Independence Day?

The first Pekin Fourth of July celebration took place in 1830. Back then it was just a few firecrackers and a gunshot in the air. Today, this event is so popular that it draws noted speakers including members of Congress, governors, college presidents, judges, ministers, and teachers. The town has only 1,500 people but it grows tenfold during the celebration, with as many as 15,000 people attending.

Programs in the past have featured entertainment and band music, including the "Spirit of 1776 Martial Band." But the real highlight of the Pekin Fourth of July celebration is the great parade. In early years, when many people came in by train, a group would meet the train and the parade would start there. Now the parade is the main event of the day, with novelty cars and trucks, floats of every kind, bikes and horseback riders.

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