RALSTON, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska’s biggest Independence Day parade is back on this year, and the City of Ralston is eager to welcome the crowds back to its patriotic celebration.
After taking a year off because of COVID-19, the city is once again hosting its annual independence day celebration with parades, fireworks and more planned for Sunday.
Mayor Don Groesser says missing the event last year was very disappointing for the close-knit community.
“Ralston’s a real family town, and everybody comes back for the festivities and just to enjoy their families," Groesser said.
Each year, an estimated 60,000 people attend the event, almost 10 times greater than the city’s population. And with many people missing out on the occasion last year, Groesser is predicting that number to be even higher.
“From everything I’m hearing, we could be bigger," Groesser said. "Everybody’s ready to get out and do something.”
There are some events that have been left off the schedule this year since vaccination efforts were still underway when the event was planned, but the city feels it can host a safe celebration.
They also want to honor those who stepped up in the past year to keep the community going, naming essential and frontline workers as grand marshals.
“We’re representing all the different areas of COVID workers and just honoring them," Groesser said. "So school teachers, post office workers, healthcare workers, manufacturers — everybody who had to work on the front line that kept our economy going.”
For more information about the Ralston celebration: ralstonareachamber.org/independence-day