September 1, 2015

Get a taste of the 1890s as you celebrate 1776 in Grand Island

The Fourth of July will be “blast” at the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island. Museum spokesman Mike Bockovan says they’ll be improvising an 1890s version of skyrockets.

“At noon, we’re going to do something called Firing the Anvil,” Bockovan says. “Our blacksmith takes a big anvil out into the middle of the field, puts a little anvil on top of it, packs it with gunpowder and shoots it up into the air. It’s a tradition steeped in history. It’s pretty interesting and it’s a pretty big boom. It’s kind of our version of fireworks.”

Bockovan says museum’s 1890’s Fourth of July event will also feature traditions Nebraskans have grown to love, from the sack races and three-legged races to pie-eating contests and an early morning German language church service. The big event though, comes is in the afternoon.

“We do a parade at 2 o’clock that we invite our visitors to participate in,” he says. “It goes down Railroadtown’s Main Street.”

There’s also live music and a remembrance ceremony too which is take from actual texts from the 1890s. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children 6 to 12. The church service is free to attend.

By Jennifer Berry, KHAS, Hastings


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