June 27, 2023 at 8:40 a.m.

Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration Returns to Hope Town Square Friday

By JENN WILLHITE | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

A celebration of Americana at its finest will take place as area residents gather on the Hope Town Square for an evening of food, fun and fireworks when the Yellow Trail Museum hosts Hope’s annual Old-Fashioned Independence Day as a nod to the history of the northeastern part of Bartholomew County beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.

John Ziegler, president of the Yellow Trail Museum, says he and event organizers are hoping for a great turnout that rivals – if not surpasses – previous years.

“Most of the planning is done,” he says. “The fact that it is a little earlier than other events – I think we will have a good crowd.”

As in previous years, the evening will begin with the opening of the craft and food booths and Miss and Mr. Firecracker will be crowned at 6:15 p.m. before leading a patriotic parade of decorated bikes and tricycles around the Square.

Jessica Deckard says she is hoping for comfortable, dry weather as she returns for her fifth year of crowning little Miss and Mr. Firecracker.

“It’s pretty cute every year,” she says. “A lot of the kids are excited and then there are others who are shy. It depends on the year and the kids you get.”

Additionally, registration for the apple pie baking contest will run from 6 to 6:45 p.m. when judging will begin. And for those with an insatiable sweet tooth, the Yellow Trail Museum will be offering $1 ice cream floats throughout the evening, Deckard says.

Around the 6:20 p.m. window the grand marshal for this year’s Hope Heritage Days in September will be announced, Deckard says.

Throughout the evening, visitors can enjoy a range of games and activities for the entire family, including sack races, tug of war, a watermelon seed spitting contest and water balloon toss. In addition to face painting and balloon animals, this year will see the return of pony rides for the kiddos, Deckard adds.

The Bannister Family Band returns with an amazing set list and will take the bandstand at 6:30 p.m. to play until just prior to the fireworks show beginning at 10 p.m.

“It should be a 15- or 20-minute fireworks show,” says Jason Eckart, Hope Town Manager. “They do a surprisingly great job and I’m excited for it. I think it is really cool they do the old-fashioned fireworks celebration; it’s unique and really cool for the community.”