Independence Day traditions continue

Three-year-old Bo Shepard of Hastings rides his bike in the
2013 YWCA Fourth of July Children's Parade Thursday at
Fisher Fountain.

Independence Day traditions will continue Friday in Hastings for the Fisher Fountain activities organized by the YWCA of Adams County as well as the Brickyard Park concert and fireworks display.

Children's games such as beanbag toss and ladder golf as well as face painting, tattoos and an inflatable bounce house begin 10:30 a.m., at Fisher Fountain. Food vendors will also be present.

"We'll have all the same vendors there," said Jennifer Lewis, executive director of the YWCA of Adams County. "I think everything will remain about the same. It's been a consistent program for years, and it's worked well for us. We'll have a lot of the same traditions, nothing really new, just a lot of fun."

The children's parade around Fisher Fountain at 1228 N. Denver Ave., will start at noon with the line up at 11:45 a.m.

Lewis is not sure exactly how many years the event has been going.

"It was so long ago it just started with a bunch of moms and a small, small parade, but I have grown people who have kids now who come up to me and say 'I remember when I got to decorate my bike and be in the parade,' " she said. "We can't find the history of when it actually started. It's just grown tremendously over the years. Where it used to be six or seven kids, now there's hundreds of kids who line up."

One of the reasons Lewis likes the event so much is because it is the start to many people's Independence Day celebrations.

"It brings people into our community," she said. "Some people stay around, do some other things and then go to Brickyard Park. It's a tradition that families remember. Like I said, you've got adults coming back who now have kids and they did it. You have Grandmas who were moms at one time. It's the whole tradition thing that people remember."

Independence Day activities will pick back up again at 5:30 p.m. in Brickyard Park with concessions in advance of a concert from The Rumbles and fireworks display. The Rumbles will perform 7 p.m., until dark when the Hastings Volunteer Fire Department will put on its annual fireworks display.

There will be several specialty food vendors, Hastings Noon Kiwanis is this year's non-profit vendor, selling hamburgers and hotdogs.

Activities in Brickyard Park are organized by the Hastings Parks and Recreation Department.

"People can go to the vendors, buy some fun food and hang out at Brickyard Park and the concert will start out at 7 p.m.," Recreation Superintendent Ryan Martin said. "They'll listen to the Rumbles from 7 till dark and then at dark we will have our fireworks show."
Members of the Hastings Volunteer Fire Department will stand at the gates and circulation among the crowd inside the park carrying boots to collect freewill donations used to purchase fireworks for the next year.

Martin said that the Rumbles, a band that performs current rock and country hits as well as songs from throughout the past 50 years, is a Hastings favorite.

"Usually when we've had them booked we've had a really good turnout," he said. "I think what's nice about them is that they play a variety of music that appeals to everyone's taste, which is good. They're a fun band to celebrate the Fourth of July and they really get the crowd involved."

Nearly all of the Independence Day activities, at both locations, are free or freewill donation.
The food vendors and bounce house are the only aspects of the Fisher Fountain event with a cost.

"We keep everything at a minimal cost," Lewis said. "There is a raffle that helps pay for it. Like Brickyard Park, our contributors and our donors that's how we do this every year.

"We just are so thankful to this community for stepping up and helping with that because it would not be possible without that donation to make the Fourth of July parade happen."

To read more, see Wednesday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>

Copyright © 2015