OPINION

Thank you to everyone who gave Sleepy Eye a normal 4th of July

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

I know I don't get out and about as much as many other people do but I may speak for many when I say I haven't been in a crowd for a long time. The closest I came to being part of a crowd was a year ago when I went to the 4th of July fireworks. And that crowd was a bit smaller than usual and spread out in a socially distanced way.

And, those fireworks were all we had in Sleepy Eye for a celebration of Independence Day.

This year was different. This year was back to normal. Back to our traditional 4th of July in Sleepy Eye! Back to a huge crowd for the fireworks at the end of a normal Sleepy Eye 4th of July.

The Avenue of Flags volunteers were up early in steamy weather to set up the flags at Home Cemetery — and back again in even more steamy heat to take them down at the end of the day. Thank you for this beautiful display of flags in honor of our veterans.

Many decades ago the Sleepy Eye Eagles Club started the 4th of July celebration and they faithfully carried out the fun until they reached the end of their organizational road a few years ago. Many thanks to all those guys for all the work they did for Sleepy Eye for so many years.

Well, Sleepy Eye just wouldn't be the same without a nice big 4th of July party in Allison Park. After the Eagles' final bash, the City of Sleepy Eye didn't let the tradition end. The city paid for the fireworks and asked for some organization to provide the food stand in the park during the day.

That's when the Knights of Columbus stepped up. They took over the food stand and providing musical entertainment in Allison Park. I think that switch may have been made easier due to a few fellows from the Eagles Club also being Knights. A smooth transfer of event experience brought us an event that most people probably didn't even realize was under "new management."

Thank you to the KCs for all your work putting on this event, and coming back again after a pandemic year off. It was just like old times in the park on Sunday.

For many years, the families of St. Mary's School students had a Pie Stand in the park on the 4th of July. Maybe pie making skills aren't as common as they used to be as the St. Mary's families were selling ice cream sandwiches this year. What a great cool treat for the people enjoying the day in the park. Thank you St. Mary's School.

The big night was also just like normal this year. The shore of Sleepy Eye Lake, the curbs and hillside across the street and at Divine Providence were once again packed with fans of fireworks. Just like normal, the Sleepy Eye Fire Department delighted the crowd with their excellent show.

The 4th of July was back to normal in Sleepy Eye this year.