North Morristown Celebration is a Slice of America
The North Morristown July 4th Celebration is 125 years old this year and it's charm for me is its simplicity.
If aliens were to land from outer space and ask to see an example of what America is all about I would take them to this celebration in North Morristown.
People of all ages celebrate the day with great food, terrific entertainment and good natured fun on the grounds of Trinity Lutheran Church. All proceeds from the event go to the Trinity Lutheran School.
On AM Minnesota last week, longtime North Morristown resident Carl Krueger shared his stories from his youth attending the event. Krueger said the crowds were not nearly as big but the day was something all his friends looked forward to.
The only cost for all the super entertainment is a $2 button.
One of my favorite Minnesota groups is Monroe Crossing and I don't know how many years they've been at this event but I'm guess it's been over a decade now.
Why do they keep coming back? They've told me what attracts them are the same things I love about the day - entire families enjoying each other in a fashion that hasn't changed much over the years.
The clothes have changed, the hairdos have changed, the transportation to the event has changed over the years, but the basics of the celebration are still the same.
You can have real butter put on your popcorn, every kind of pie is available, although some flavors do run out early. The hamburgers are awesome and the onion rings likewise.
They have french fries, barbecued pork sandwiches, walking tacos, freshly squeezed lemonade, hot beef sandwiches, hot dogs and a variety of ice cream flavors to choose from.
The parking is free.
Honestly my favorite part of the North Morristown event (outside of the food) is the Patriotic Program because in my mind it places the holiday in its proper perspective.
This year's Patriotic Program will recognize our Vietnam veterans.
The program will be broadcast on KDHL Radio 920AM and features former Third District American Legion Commander Duane Anderson.
Longtime chairman of the event Al Spitzack and his wife Charla are the Grand Marshals of the parade, which starts at 10AM.
The Firecracker 5K Run and Walk starts the day at 8AM, with the food stands and games opening at 9AM. A silent auction takes place from 9AM to 1PM and the Flag Raising Ceremony is at 9:45AM.
The parade includes a kiddie and pet parade and it's pretty cool to see the thousands of people lined up to watch it.
The Jolly Huntsman Band has performed in the Beer Garden during the day for decades and the hours are noon to 4PM. A Horseshoe Tournament begins at Noon.
In addition to Monroe Crossing shows at 1:30 and 4PM, there are a couple of new groups this year and one of them was recommended by Monroe Crossing. The Larry Stephenson Band hits the main stage at 12:30 and 3PM. The Potluck String Band has a show at 7PM on the main stage. Downtown Sound has been the Beer Garden performers for a number of years in the evening from 7:30-11:30PM.
In observance of the 125th year of the celebration, organizers have doubled the fireworks being shot off this year.
I'm not sure if fireworks were featured when the North Morristown 4th of July event began in 1892, but I do know that if those folks were able to come back and see the event currently they would probably grin from ear to ear.
The dress may be different and the mannerisms, but it's still about relationships, which when you boil it down is what living is all about.
I hope to see you in North Morristown and remember if you can't be there tune in for the Patriotic Program which begins about 15 minutes after the parade so usually about 11:15AM.
If you tune in at 10:45AM, you will be sure not to miss the event aired on KDHL.