Seward celebrates July 4th and honors Nebraska Civil War Vets

154th Annual July 4th Celebration

SEWARD, Neb. (KLKN) – From pole vaulters to youth dance showcases, there is truly something for everyone at the 154th annual Seward 4th of July Celebration.

The celebration is an important part of Nebraska and Seward tourism, bringing in a lot of needed revenue.

Clark Kolterman, who’s been the chairman of the celebration committee for 54 years, said, “We have 154 vendors here and all of those vendors as well depend on a good 4th of July Celebration, whether they’re selling snow cones or selling trinkets on the square.”

The annual festival brings in a lot of people from across the country and globe.  Kolterman explained, the event sees between 45 to 50 thousand people each year.

There is also a theme every year.  This year the theme was “Rally Around the Flag.”  The committee chose that theme mostly because this is the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Donelson during the Civil War…  The committee wanted to honor and remember the Nebraska National Guard members who fought and died during that battle.

The Nebraska National Guard historian, Gerald “Jerry” Meyer, explained the history and significance of those men and that battle.

He said, “The First Nebraska Infantry, which is made of Nebraska National Guardsman, fought there at the battle [of Donelson] and on Wynn’s Ferry Road on Feb. 15 they stopped the Confederate assault to get out of the fort to make it to Nashville and force them to surrender the next day on February 16.”

In the cool AC of the museum, people had the chance to meet and talk to President Lincoln and his wife, along with General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife.

There were also reenactment groups outside for people to talk to and they showcased some their historical memorabilia.

Of course the young kids in attendance have one thing they are excited for every 4th of July.

Payton and Delaney, sisters in attendance at the celebration said, “I like the fireworks at night, they’re really pretty.” The other sister replied saying, “I like the fireworks that twinkle in the sky.”

If you want to see the fireworks in Seward, they start at 10pm, July 4 at Plum Creek Park.

Categories: Nebraska News, News, Seward, Top Stories