The Yellow Trail Museum would like to thank everyone who attended the Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration. We don't sell tickets to the event or count heads, but the museum members agreed this year had to be a record number for attendance. The evening was warm, but the weather was nice.

And it appeared that all had a wonderful time.

The evening got started with the Little Miss Sparkler and Little Mr. Firecracker Contest. Winners were chosen by penny votes and our contestants raised over $300 to go toward expenses for the evening. Winners this year were Azlyn Whittington and Mason Morrow. We need to thank them for their hard work and cooperation.

The bike parade has about 30 entrants who followed Abe Lincoln on a trip around the square as they showed off their decorated vehicles and red, white, and blue costumes. All participants were declared winners and received a gift bag and a coupon for a free ice cream float at the museum that evening.

Next came the Apple Pie Baking contest with two categories. In the Children's Division, winners of the cash prizes were Addie Dailey, Hope Bailey, and Elaina Wobbler. For the adult contest ,many in the crowd were surprised to find that two men won first and second place, with our winners being David Wiwi, Rick Daniels, and Dakota Dickey winning third place. Thanks to all who entered the contest for their willingness to donate their pies to Kappa Kappa Sigma to offer for sale with their homemade ice cream.

Throughout the evening the crowd enjoyed fish fried by the Hartsville Fire Department, other sandwiches by Relay for Life, Kappa Kappa Sigma's Fruit Crisps with homemade ice cream, Popcorn and drinks by Hope Fire Department, and lemonade made by the Galbraith Family as a fundraiser for IU Riley Children's Hospital.

Throughout the evening the crowd enjoyed the Millers' Merry Manor Cake Walk, a program by Abe Lincoln, old fashioned games, contests and crafts by the Yellow Trail Museum, and the great music by the Banister Family Band.

When it was time for fireworks, a few people were disappointed that the fireworks  site had been moved farther away from Hope than usual, and felt the display was not as successful as in the past, but the move was to ensure the safety of a wheat field that had not been harvested yet. As a farming community, we should be pleased that the Open Sky Group made the best choice possible for that night, and those who were willing to move from their normal seating spot enjoyed a great display.

The entire evening took many volunteers, but we need to recognize a few special ones including Jeff's Lawn Care who helped us gather and dispose of trash, Midnight Express for being great MC's for the entire evening, our pie judges for the difficult decisions, Hope Utilities and Hope Police Department, and any others we have missed.

Mark Webber of The Republic was in town to interview others, but he made a statement about the evening I must share. He said, "Do you know what I like most about this event? Kids and adults do not have their cell phones out. Instead they are talking to others, working and playing together, and really enjoying themselves."

My return comment was "Then the evening is a success!"