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贝京镇七月四日庆祝大会始于1830年。当时的庆祝活动只有对空鸣枪及零星的烟火表演。现在的庆祝活动则广受欢迎,前来致词的着名演讲者包括国会成员、州长、大学校长、法官、部长及教师。镇上居民只有1,500人,但庆典举办期间,镇上人口会飙涨十倍,参加人数最多可达15,000 人。

过去的表演节目包括了余兴节目及乐团演出,包括演奏"1776军乐团的精神"(Spirit of 1776 Martial Band)。但贝京镇七月四日庆祝大会的真正高潮是它的大游行。早期,当火车仍是大部分人的交通工具时,人们会相约在火车站,而游行就从此处开始。现在,游行仍是当天的主要大事,而游行的行列中则可见样式新颖的车子及卡车、各种不同类型的花车、脚踏车及马背上的骑士。

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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