Independence Day and all that

Humboldt will hold its sesquicentennial celebration this week alongside the Independence Day celebrations in area towns.

One of the highlights is a song commissioned for the 150th anniversary celebration called “Forever Home,” said Chamber Director Susan Rutz.

The music was composed by Iowa State professor Michael Golemo with words written by Miranda Pedersen, a Humboldt senior who graduated this year, Rutz said.

The Humboldt Community Chorus and the High School Chorus will perform it Saturday evening.

The Business Professional Women are sponsoring a best beard contest with judging on July 7. Prizes will be given for longest beard, most original, “beard fail”and other categories.

Friday will feature a Humboldt Idol competition – a karaoke contest and street dance, Rutz said. There will also be a cemetery walk in the morning and evening celebrating past community members of Humboldt.

There will also be a video from a 1972 ABC news special on Humboldt shown before the concert Saturday, and guided school and community tours Saturday morning.

“We have a new middle school, so we’re hoping to get a good number of people coming back to the community to see how we’ve progressed,” Rutz said.

The town was founded by Stephen H. Taft in 1863 and originally named Springvale.

Independence Day festivities will be held Thursday, with fireworks at 10 p.m.

“We’ll have a bigger display this year than in past years,” Rutz said.

“The parade route has changed just a bit,” she said. “Instead of Fourth Avenue North, it is going to Sixth Avenue, which takes us to the fairgrounds.”

Sac City

In Sac City, the building that now houses the Sac City museum will turn 100 on Thursday, and will be open for tours from 1 to 4 p.m. Located at the corner of 13th and Main Streets, the building was once a cemetery monument building owned by the Wayt Monument Works.

“We still have the manually operated crane they used to move tombstones,” said Sharon Mayo, on the museum board.

The building features pillars of Saint Cloud Gray Marble, and cost about $15,000 to complete, or $350,000 in today’s money.

A loading dock on the west side of the building was used to move in heavy blocks of granite. There was a metal forge in the basement and an elevator to move products up to the main floor. It also features decorative tin ceilings, tall windows, and even a marble light fixture.

The museum was opened in this building in 1985.

Visitors can tour the old schoolhouse, hardware store and other buildings in the historic village around the museum and find refreshments in the gazebo.

Gowrie

Gowrie holds its town celebration every year on July 4, offering a big parade.

“This is our 125th consecutive Fourth of July parade,” said coordinator Gayle Redman. “Lots of towns didn’t have the Fourth of July in World War II, and Gowrie always did.”

One new thing this year is a tractor ride to Dolliver Park, sponsored by the Prairie Valley FFA.

The car show is also getting bigger every year, Redman said. There is no entry fee and all makes and models are welcome to the show from noon to 4 p.m. at Laurel Park. There will also be free live music at the show by the Midwest Rock and Soul Review.

The newly refurbished swimming pool will be open regular hours all week.

“We’re still raising money for the new pool,” Redman said. “That’s been our big project.”

The biggest thing is the parade, at 10 a.m. Thursday, which draws in around 10,000 to 15,000 people. The highlight is the American Legion’s flag float, featuring over 250 flags representing members who have died through the years.

“Because we give away prize money for the floats, we usually get a lot of pretty creative and unusual floats,” she said.