Independence Day is around the corner, and Central Nebraskans can choose from a variety of options to fulfill their annual Independence Day traditions.

Family-fun events and activities can be found from Grand Island to Burwell.

Grand Island

Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island will host its 1899 Independence Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Admission to this all-day event is $10 for adults, $8 for kids and free for Stuhr Museum members.

Activities start at 10 a.m. with the Hall County Historical Society annual German-English church service at the Danish Lutheran church. The Rev. Paul Hofricter will conduct the service in German and his wife, Diana, will translate it in English. German music will be provided by the Liederkranz Singers and Elizabeth Hodwalker will play the pump organ.

The anvil will be fired at noon and will be followed by a parade at 2 p.m. The parade will be down Front Street in Railroad Town. After the parade, the Silver Cornet Band Concert/Patriotic Program will take place. The last events at Stuhr Museum will begin at 3 p.m. and include a pie-eating contest with races and games on the green.

Also back this year at Stuhr is the Firecracker Fun Run 5K at 7:30 a.m. (day-of registration is $45; gates open at 6:30 a.m.).

For more information, call (308) 385-5316.

Fonner Park will present its annual firework show at 10 p.m. in the infield.

American Legion Auxiliary Unit #53 will host an ice-cream social fundraiser from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at the United Veterans Club, 1914 W. Capital Ave.

Other activities in Central Nebraska include (all events are July 4, unless otherwise noted):


Burwell is hosting its annual barbecue at 5 p.m. with a fireworks show at dusk in the city park on North Eighth Avenue.

Central City

Annual Lone Tree Days run Thursday through Sunday. Festivities will start at 10 a.m. Thursday with a Teddy Bear Picnic at the Merrick County Museum. “Toy Story 4” will be showing at 1 p.m. at Widman Cinema (doors open at noon) with “Spider-Man: Far From Home” starting at 1:15.

From 2 to 4 p.m., an ice cream and pie social is planned at Grace Lutheran Church, 1920 16th Ave. Bingo will start at 3 p.m. at The Independent Club. The Lone Tree Days parade begins at 7 p.m. on Fifteenth Avenue. To close the night, Central City’s Volunteer Fire Department will present a firework show at 10 p.m. at the Merrick County Fairgrounds.

For more information, visit


Chapman is offering a firework show and barbecue potluck in the city park. The event will start at 6 p.m. with food, games and water activities. The firework show is set to begin at dusk. Freewill donations will be accepted for next year’s fireworks show. For more information, call Scott Gamblin at (308) 380-2417.


Doniphan will host its Independence Day celebration Wednesday at the Doniphan trapshooting association, 501 N. First St. Food, activities and music will start at 7 p.m. and the firework show will follow at 9:45. Music will be provided by Mohanna with Red Shoes.


Fullerton will host its festivities in the city park at the corners of Broadway and North Third streets. It will start with firetruck water fights at 2 p.m., and continue at 3 with a bouncy house, obstacle course, free watermelon and face-painting. Dinner will be served from 5 to 6:30 p.m. with music from 2nd Time Around from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Concessions and the firework show will be at baseball field. The firework show will start at dusk.

Fullerton will continue its “Pass the Boot” tradition where a boot will be handed around during the firework show to collect donations for next year’s fireworks display.


The annual firework show at Brickyard Park will start with food vendors at 5:30 p.m., including Tropical Sno, Tony’s Tacos, the Hastings’ Color Guard and many more. Bases Loaded from Kearney will present a concert from 7 to 10 p.m. and the fireworks show will follow. This is a free public event.

YWCA Adams County will sponsor its celebration from 10:30 to 1 p.m. at Fisher Fountain with games and entertainment for kids of all ages. A children’s parade will begin at noon and children are invited to decorate their bikes and wagons to join the parade. Activities include: face-painting, tattoos, bean bag toss, baseball throw and a bouncy house. Food vendors will also be on site.

The YWCA will host a fundraiser offering 17 different raffles for Henry Doorly Zoo tickets, Kansas City Royals tickets, rounds of golf, and much more. The money raised will go toward the youth outreach programs.


Merna Heritage Days will start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday with a pancake feed and continue with a parade at 10. Other events include a lunch, tractor pull on Main Street, sand volleyball, an escape room, tractor and car show, scavenger hunt, mini golf, bingo and many more. At 5:30 p.m. an alumni barbecue dinner will be served in the city park. The firemen’s watermelon feed will start at 8 p.m. at the ball field and the night will finish off with the firemen’s fireworks at 10 p.m. at the ball field.


Ord will host its annual holiday event with free swimming from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Alfred and Irma Burson Aquatic Center, followed by a fireworks show at Bussel Park at dusk.


Ravenna is having its annual fireworks show at 10 p.m. Wednesday at Annevar Park. The show will be provided by Ravenna’s Volunteer Firework Department.


Shelton is starting its celebration with an 8 a.m. run at the Shelton Water Tower. A coed volleyball tournament will take place in the outfield of the ball park. A kids parade will start at 1 p.m. along Third and C streets. The Independence Day Parade will follow at 1:30 p.m. The rest of the afternoon will feature a hamburger and hot dog feed, swimming, bike rodeo and family bingo. The night will end with the firework show starting at dusk at the Shelton football field.

St. Paul

Grover Cleveland Alexander Days will collaborate with this year’s fireworks show at dusk Friday at Fourth Street across the city park. GCA Days will start at 9 a.m. Saturday with a quilt show and continue with activities such as a dodgeball tournament, poker run, steak feed and a American Legion baseball game between St. Paul and Grand Island Home Federal at 7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., an original musical written about Grover Cleveland Alexander, “Alexander, Baseball Legend,” will premiere at the American Legion Club, 804 Howard Ave.

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Natalie Saenz is The Independent's summer intern for 2019. She welcomes news tips and information 24/7!

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