“Well met again, we greet each friend,
In social glee this day to spend,
To Washington we’ll drink and say
Huzza for Freeman’s Holiday!”
– Excerpt from “A Song For the Fourth of July, 1796”
4th of July Festivities in Wisconsin
All around the country, people will be gathering together this weekend to celebrate 4th of July. This year marks our 238th year of Independence, and Wisconsin will be in full swing with festivities around the state. If you haven’t experienced a small town 4th celebration before, make sure you don’t miss out this year! Practically every town in the state, no matter how big or small, will light up with fireworks and explode with excitement – from parades, music, picnics, and games, Wisconsinities know how to celebrate!
And Phelps is THE place to be this 4th of July, with fun all day long for the whole family! Watch a traditional small town parade through downtown, beginning at 3 pm. Check out the amazing stunts of the Chain Skimmers Ski Team when they perform on North Twin Lake, following the parade. Enjoy fun tunes and graceful melodies by Popular Girl from 4 pm to 8 pm, with a phenomenal fireworks display over the waters of North Twin Lake at dusk. Food, refreshments, kids games, and great activities – Phelps 4th of July Festivities promise to be a blast!
Independence Day Fun Facts & History
Did you know…
- Modern day fireworks are thought to have originated in China in the 800s, with gunpowder and bamboo shoots used to scare away bad spirits
- Fireworks were known and used in Europe as early as the 1300s
- The 4th of July is celebrated in recognition of the Declaration of Independence, signed in 1776 but it is argued that the true anniversary would be July 2nd
- Colonists in the summer of 1776 celebrated independence by holding mock funerals for King George, with all the rowdiness that we expect of 4th of July today
- Philadelphia and Boston commemorated the 1st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1777 by ringing bells, firing guns, lighting candles and setting off firecrackers
- In 1831, President James Monroe died on July 4th
- Massachusetts was the 1st state to make the 4th of July an official holiday
- Racine, Wisconsin celebrated 4th of July in 1836 with songs and a community dinner on the lakeshore
- Oshkosh, Wisconsin celebrated its first 4th of July in 184o
- In 1870, Congress declared Independence Day a federal holiday, and this ruling was expanded in 1941.
In Phelps, 4th of July has received its due recognition for decades. The photo on the left shows a 4th of July parade in the 1940’s. Can you identify the automobile in the background?
Honor Our Freedom with More Than Festivities
What does Independence Day mean to you? Don’t forget to take a moment this 4th of July and truly consider the trials and tribulations of those who came before us that made our country’s independence more than just a dream. Think about the lives that were lost, the families that were torn apart, the battles waged that this country has endured to realize the possibility of freedom.
Take a moment to pay tribute to those that continue to serve and those that give their lives to keep freedom a reality. All of the hardworking organizations and dedicated volunteers that strive to make our town and country the best it can be. All of the people that, every day work their hardest every day and give their best to do their part, to keep this country running, to keep our children educated and healthy, to provide the goods and services we need, to bring happiness to our lives.
The 4th of July is more than just a day to come together and party – it is a day to recognize the value of our people, our community and our country. It’s a day to celebrate our independence and freedom, to remember the past, and to rejoice in the unlimited possibilities of the future.
“This day be it sacred to freedom and peace,
Festivity, friendship and joy;
May our land in prosperity ever encrease
And by bles’d on the Fourth of July”
– “On the Anniversary of the Independence of the United States, 1790”
Share Your Phelps 4th of July History & Memories
The Phelps Chamber would love to hear your memories of past 4th of July celebrations. Do you have an old photo to share, or a fun story? Let us know, here on our Blog, or find us on Facebook. We hope you enjoy the festivities this year in Phelps – Happy Independence Day from the Phelps Chamber of Commerce!