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Neighbors prepare for the Ralston Independence Day celebration

Thousands of people are coming to Ralston to attend the Independence Day Parade
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 03, 2024

RALSTON, Neb. — The city of Ralston's annual Independence Day celebration brings in thousands to the community. Many of the people come early to save their spots for the parade.

  • Ralston's Independence Day parade is the biggest parade in Nebraska
  • Many come days before the parade to reserve their spots on the parade route
  • “We’re getting ready to set up to view and watch the parade which we are very excited for. Every year my godchildren they come and visit with me and they enjoy the parade as well every year so we are really excited to join in the celebration."

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Ralston throws a bash every year for Independence Day and neighbors are ready to take it all in. I’m Greta Goede your Ralston neighborhood reporter outside city hall where neighbors have already saved their spots for the 4 of July Parade.

The two day Independence Day celebration brings in thousands to the small town and many people head to the town early to ensure they get a good spot for the main event, the biggest parade in Nebraska.

“It’s really fun,” Donald Groesser, mayor of Ralston said. “We have usually 60,000 people come. Our little town of 6,000… 6,500 people goes to 60,000 and it means a lot in our community.”

Some of the people who gather in the community for the event travel to visit family or friends, while others come every year from around the metro to participate in the events.

Pat Pfiefer, a Papillion resident comes every year and knows how busy the town gets. He was one of many people who visited Ralston early Wednesday morning to tape off a spot for the parade.

“We’re getting ready to set up to view and watch the parade which we are very excited for,” Pfiefer said. “Every year my godchildren they come and visit with me and they enjoy the parade as well every year so we are really excited to join in the celebration."

As people set up their spots to watch the parade, others are getting their floats ready. Terri Smieja, owner of Cinderella’s Formal Gown Rentals on main in Ralston has a float in the parade for her business and she looks forward to it every year.

“You know we have a lot of fun, we throw stuffed animals in the audience,” Smieja said. “The little girls love it. Our audience is little girls so all of us are wearing dresses. There’s a lot of participation and a lot of home families that come out and share this moment together."

The event has a full schedule with events like a pie baking contest, fun run, and shows throughout Thursday and Friday.

The celebration will continue after the parade here with food trucks, music and finally fireworks to end the night.

I’m Greta Goede, your Ralston neighborhood reporter.