Hope to celebrate the Fourth with old-fashioned celebration

Carla Clark | For The Republic People line up for Tropical Shaved Hawaiian Ice during the Hope Old Fashioned Indpendence Day at the town square in Hope, Ind., Friday, June 30, 2023.

HOPE – The Yellow Trail Museum invites you to travel back in time on June 28 to experience an Old Fashioned Independence in the Hope Town Square.

“It’s nothing flashy, but it is historic,” museum volunteer and event organizer Susan Thayer Fye said. “That attracts a certain crowd, and the people in Hope love history.”

Always held the Friday evening before the Fourth of July, Hope’s celebration of the country’s 248th birthday will be from 5:30 p.m. until the fireworks show at dusk ends.

With the exception of cakewalk music from an mp3 player and an iPhone timer, everything else could have been a part of every small town Fourth of July celebration a century ago.

“And I think we get better attendance on a Friday (than Saturday),” Thayer Fye said. “Of course, it all depends on the weather.”

If outdoor conditions are favorable, Thayer Fye estimates about 500 people will make their way to the square to watch the 10 p.m. fireworks display.

Another big draw is expected to be the 7 p.m. performance of the Banister Family Bluegrass Band. The musical performers were just featured in Friday’s concert at the Bartholomew County Public Library Plaza.

For the third consecutive year, Hope resident Nick Wiedersatz will donate 125 pounds of prime beef provided by Hege Farms, as well as a deep freezer, for the Cash Cow Raffle that is sponsored by the Student’s Fund of Hope.

There will be 500 raffle tickets sold at $10 per entry to raise a total of $5,000, fund co-founder Whitney Budd said. Organizers said $2,500 will be invested into a new roof for the historic one-room Simmons Schoolhouse, while an equal amount will be spent on helping disadvantaged students in northeast Bartholomew County, she said.

Visit studentsfundofhope.org to purchase a raffle ticket. The winner will be announced at 6:25 p.m. during the event.

Those with a sweet tooth may want to be at the shelter house for the 6:45 p.m. cake walk. In this game, participants walk around a path in time until the music stops. A number is drawn at random and called out. The person standing on that number will win a cake, pie, cookies or other dessert.

Unless the weather is too hot, pony rides will be available in the vacant lot next to Willow Leaves north of the town square. The animals are owned by Hope-area resident Rick Foster and his family.

Many ongoing events such as children’s crafts, games, contests, balloons and face painting have become traditions at the event. For example, kids from 3 to 10 years old have put out collection canisters in Hope-area businesses for several years in an effort to earn the title of Miss Firecracker or Mr. Firecracker.

A boy and girl who collect the most pennies receives the title, a crown and the honor of leading the 6:30 p.m. parade of decorated bicycles for kids 12 and younger, Thayer Fye said. Besides bicycles, the parade also features tricycles, strollers and wagons all decorated in patriotic fashion.

There will be a children’s category, as well as adult, in the annual Apple Pie Baking Contest. All entries must be submitted between 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Judging gets underway at 6:45 p.m.

If you go

Old Fashioned Independence Day in the Hope Town Square

Friday, June 28

5:30 p.m.– Crafts, food, parade registration opens

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Apple pie contest registration

6:15 p.m. – Crowing of Mr. and Miss Firecracker

6:20 p.m. – Heritage Days Grand Marshall award

6:25 p.m. – Students’ Fund Cash Cow Contest

6:30 p.m. – Parade of decorated bikes begins

6:45 p.m. – Cake walk in the shelter house

6:45 p.m. – Apple Pie Contest judging begins

7 to 9:30 p.m. – Bannister Family Band

7 p.m. – Sack races

7:30 p.m. – Watermelon seed spitting contest

7:45 p.m. – Tug of war

8 p.m. – Water balloon toss.

10 p.m. – Fireworks show originating west of the town square. Bring your own chair or blanket

Old Fashioned Independence Day in the Hope Town Square

Friday, June 28

5:30 p.m.– Crafts, food, parade registration opens

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Apple pie contest registration

6:15 p.m. – Crowing of Mr. and Miss Firecracker

6:20 p.m. – Heritage Days Grand Marshall award

6:25 p.m. – Students’ Fund Cash Cow Contest

6:30 p.m. – Parade of decorated bikes begins

6:45 p.m. – Cake walk in the shelter house

6:45 p.m. – Apple Pie Contest judging begins

7 to 9:30 p.m. – Bannister Family Band

7 p.m. – Sack races

7:30 p.m. – Watermelon seed spitting contest

7:45 p.m. – Tug of war

8 p.m. – Water balloon toss.

10 p.m. – Fireworks show originating west of the town square. Bring your own chair or blanket