I have enjoyed Steilacoom’s July 4th celebrations for many years, but I can’t help comparing them to a July celebration that occurred at another place in another time: Gering, Nebraska in 29th, 1926. Besides the arrival of the indomitable Ezra Meeker at 9:30 AM, Gering’s second day program included:
- 10:00- Parade; prizes in Historical, Industrial, Art and Comic divisions, totaling $250.
- 12.00-Band Concert
- 1:00- Sioux Indians in tribal dances
- 1:15- Abie Cooke, acrobatic clown act
- 1:30- Ford Novelty brick Race
- 2;00- Arington’s Hawaiians in Song and Dances
- 2:15- Bud Snell, the manacle Man
- 3:15-Stage Coach Hold-up
- 3:30- Jack Wheat’s Bucking Ford Rodeo. $25 prize, $3 entry fee, 5 entries
- 3:45- Abie Cooke, Slack Wire Performance
- 4:00- Chair Race, with Horse and Music
- 4:15- Penny Shower, from Gering national Bank
- 4:30- Balloon Ascension, and Parachute Leap, by Capt. Tyler, late of Royal French Canadian Flying Forces
- 4;45- Pie Eating Contest. “There’s Money in It.”
- 5:00- Greased Pig Contest- the prize is the pig
- 5:15- Abie Cooke, Acrobatic Clown
- 6:00- Band Concert
- 7:00- Indian War Dances, etc.
- 7:30- Abie Cooke, Slack Wire act
- 8:00- Bud Snell, Highest Trapeze Act in the World
- 8:30- Illuminated Balloon Ascension and Parachute Leap by Capt. Tyler
- 9:00- Fire works display
I realize that we don’t have many Sioux Indians around here, that Bud Snell the manacle man is possibly no longer available, and that balloon ascensions and parachute leaps (illuminated and otherwise) are kinda passe, but surely a slack wire act, stage coach hold-up, chair race with horse and music, or even a greased pig contest (with the pig as a prize) are not beyond our capabilities. Just a thought.