July Fourth in Mineral Point – those words create an image that epitomizes the best of small town American life. From the starting gun at the “Gettin’ the Lead Out” 2 and 5 mile run to the grand finale of the fireworks show, our town is the place to be. This year we are promoting the theme “Where Wisconsin Began” in commemoration of the inauguration of Henry Dodge. July 4th, 1836 was an especially festive day in Mineral Point. Dodge was sworn in as the first governor of the newly established Wisconsin Territory right here in downtown Mineral Point. And now every year at the same time, we look forward to seeing the streets filled with people enjoying all the activities of the day.
Whether you are in it to win or just for the fun of it, we hope you will start the day by “Gettin’ the Lead Out” …the 34th year of our Historic Run. Find a comfortable spot on High Street to watch the parade that begins at 11 a.m. Then head up to Water Tower Park for a tasty lunch and linger awhile while listening to The Allen Bauman Band. The Chamber is serving really delicious steak sandwiches, with the usual picnic fare of baked beans and potato salad. There will be hot dogs too, so the whole family can relax and enjoy a meal.
The annual July 4th ballgames begin on Friday and carry on all day at Soldier’s Memorial Park. Stroll over to the shelter at Soldier’s Park for a piece of pie and ice cream around 6 p.m. The Mineral Point Kiwanis club brings home-baked pies of all kinds – the only problem is trying to decide which one to choose. If you have too much trouble choosing, they will be happy to sell you more! Then find a seat on the hillside and enjoy the sounds of the Mineral Point City Band as they present their annual July Fourth concert. I can’t think of another picture that more aptly symbolizes small town America than this event. The crack of the bats – the sounds of kids splashing in the pool – families and friends sitting together as local musicians play on – this is July Fourth!
Find a spot downtown or any number of places around town for a good view of the fireworks show. Around 9:30 in the evening as the light begins to fade, the first signs of the show start to be heard and seen from the hill overlooking High Street. Then in a few minutes, the skies light up and the ooos and ahhs can be heard echoing all over town. And then it’s over and we’ve added one more July Fourth to record books, but the memories live on and we all know why we call this place home.
– Contributed by Joy Gieseke, Executive Director of the Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce