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Denmark’s flag may be red and white, but come 4 July, the country’s northern Ribild region proudly flies the red, white and blue in honour of America’s Independence Day and the historical ties between the two countries.

Rebild National Park has been holding the largest Fourth of July celebration outside of the United States since 1912. The park’s 200 acres were purchased by a group of Danish Americans in 1911 and were deeded to the King and country in 1912 as a permanent memorial to all Danish Americans.  As conditions of the gift, the park had to remain undeveloped, open to the public and available as a space to celebrate American holidays.

Rebildfesten, a Fourth of July celebration, is by far the most popular holiday that takes place in the national park, commemorating American independence as well as Danish heritage. The food, music and entertainment starts 2 July, but the main event on 4 July includes a 3km parade from the Skørping train station to the park’s Rebild Hills. Following lunch, the celebrations continue with American and Danish speakers (this year will feature American actor Keith Carradine, great-grandson of one of the park’s original founders, and Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt) and a concert by the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, featuring a mix of music from both nations. In honour of the 100th anniversary of the festival, both the Danish queen and princess will attend for the first time since 2002.  

Tickets to the afternoon celebration cost 120 Danish krone, but the fee also covers a morning open air church service, a festival for families and admission to the Lincoln Log Cabin, a cedar log cabin within the park that serves as a museum for the history of the Danish emigrant experience.   

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