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Harmony celebrated Fourth of July with a Bang

Fri, Jul 12th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Features

Miss Harmony 2013 and her attendants help serve breakfast along with the Harmony Conservation Club on July 4. Photo by Barb Jeffers

By Barb Jeffers

Residents of Harmony, Minn., area visitors, and folks coming “back home” were thoroughly entertained from Wednesday, July 3 until Sunday, July 7, 2013 with Harmony’s Fourth of July Celebration. The town of Harmony hosts a spectacular July Fourth Celebration year after year with 2013 being no exception.

Wednesday, July 3 began the festivities with the beer tent sponsored by the Harmony Conservation Club who also brought Karaoke Joe to the beer tent Wednesday evening for anyone who wished to show their vocal talent.

July 4th began with a hot breakfast of pancakes, sausage, milk, and coffee. According to Kyle Heibel with the Harmony Conservation Club who sponsored the event a large crowd of over 200 people were served at the all-you-can-eat breakfast. Also serving breakfast were 17 year-old Sarah Reicks - Miss Harmony 2013, 16 year-old Victoria Peterson - First Attendant, and sixteen year old Sydnie Huffman - Second Attendant.

Kyle Heibel explained that the Harmony Conservation Club is involved in several activities one of which is working with pheasants in the area and the Wildlife and Habitat Club and the club also does tree planting. Kyle stated that the Harmony Conservation Club has Trap Teams that compete with other towns which is an activity the members enjoy.

A Best Shot 9 Hole Golf Tournament was held on July 4 with participants playing with friends and family members. One such group of friends was Jim Beckman, Scott Evenson, Paul Brokken, and Jim Bakken, all of Harmony. The foursome had an enjoyable day with friends, which was made more memorable by taking fourth place in the tournament. Andy Todd and Charlie Todd of Harmony also made a special memory together by playing the tournament as a Father-Son Team.

Hammell Equipment sponsored the very popular Kid’s Pedal Pull for the third year, which was State Sanctioned meaning the first, second, and third place finishers will go on to State Competition in Hutchinson, Minn. on September 7, 2013. From the State level the children (ages 4 - 11) have the opportunity to advance to National and then International Competitions. Cyril Myren, with his grandchildren Silas, age three, and Emma, age eight enjoyed themselves at the Pedal Pull as did everyone in attendance.

Brooks Lea, age three, who attended the Pedal Pull with his parents, Andrew and Emily, and big sister Madison, age eight, won first place in his category. Brooks’ family, including Grandparents Al and Star Polzin, all of Chatfield, Minn., were just as excited as Brooks with his first place finish. Jahwuan Erickson, age seven, of Rochester, Minn. was a first place finisher who was proud to show his trophy to his family who had been cheering him on. Every child who competed in the Pedal Pull received a ribbon and a beverage.

Fun-filled chaos erupted at the Toad Races with many children bringing their favorite jumpers even lending their toads to others who had not brought one to compete. Large and small, some even tiny, toads began inside the marked circle and with cheers from their owners jumped here and there and back until one finally hopped outside the circle to claim victory. Jensen Krosch, age seven, was one lucky winner who was very happy her toad was the first in its group to jump outside the circle and was excited about the prize she received.

A Grand Kiddie Parade was held just prior to the Grand Parade and included many children dressed in different costumes with some donned in red, white, and blue. Ginnie Randa, age three, daughter of Jim and Janell Randa of Harmony was dressed as a princess and rode in her carriage which, in this case, was a little wagon. Kids smiled as parents held up cameras to get that “perfect picture” of their little ones.

The Grand Parade lived up to its name this year in Harmony’s Fourth of July Celebration with a long parade and entries that varied from fire trucks to a gorilla and everything in between. Kids were happily grabbing candy, most of them handing it off to parents, then grabbing more and children were begging to get sprayed by the big water gun on one of the floats. Two year old Waylon, son of Bill and Carla Richardson of Canton, Minn., had more fun waving at the candy throwers than picking up the candy that was being thrown.

Grand Marshals Lynda and Rodney Koliha and Dr. Franz and Diana Sattler rode in fancy cars and were given the royal treatment for the day if not the entire week. These two couples were chosen as Grand Marshal’s for the support and involvement in many activities in the area. Many spectators shouted hello and called the Grand Marshals by their first names showing how well known they are in Harmony and the surrounding communities.

Following the parade there were a wide variety of activities and food for everyone to enjoy. A Bounce House, mini-golf, “Little Blue Choo” rides and more for kids. Judging by the size of the crowd adults enjoyed music by the Jim Busta Band with “Mollie B” in Selvig Park, which was sponsored by the First Southeast Bank of Harmony and Canton, Harmony Enterprises, and the Harmony Park Board. Another popular event for adults in Selvig Park was Bingo, which Genny Riehle of Cresco, Iowa, was enjoying and “feeling lucky” playing two cards. Bingo was sponsored by Nativity Catholic Church.

Lines to the food vendor stands in Selvig Park were constantly moving with attendees enjoying cool malts from the American Dairy Association, Pork Sandwiches from the Fillmore County Pork Producers, brats, hot dogs and barbeques from the Harmony Lions Club, Stumpy’s pizza, corn on the cob and more. A delicious smoked pork chop dinner was available from the Harmony United Methodist Church as well which many people enjoyed.

Fireworks filled the skies over Harmony when dusk arrived with a wonderful display of many types of fireworks. Spectators could pick out old favorites as well as new ones including heart shaped, spirals, and red, white, and blue explosions. Once the grand finale was over, appreciative viewers clapped, hollered, and honked horns to say Thank You to the Harmony Fire Department for the presentation and also to the First Southeast Bank of Harmony and Canton and the Harmony Fireman’s Relief Association for sponsoring the spectacle of color. The day was warm and sunny with blue skies, green grass, and American flags everywhere, and fireworks at dark - just what the Fourth of July should be.

Harmony continued the Fourth of July Celebration on Friday, July 5 with the Beer Tent being open for business and music by DJ Voight’s Volume sponsored by the Harmony Conservation Club making for a fun, relaxing night for many to reminisce with old friends or to get to know someone new.

Saturday, July 6 began early in Harmony with the fourth Annual Harmony Hustle to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. There were three separate events including a 10K Run, and 5K Run/Walk, and a 1K Kids Run. Participants enjoyed a beautiful day with friends and family while getting exercise and raising money for a worthy cause at the same time. One such participant making memories was Stacy Draper, of Lanesboro, Minn., who completed the 5K Run/Walk with her Grandson Trae Mathison, age eight, of Mabel, Minn.

Stacy commented, “It was my first 5K and I was very happy and excited that Trae was my first 5K partner and proud that we actually did it and that we did well!” She went on to say,“Everyone there, either there to participate or work were very helpful and friendly” which made the event even more enjoyable. Stacy adds, “Over our own participation, I would say the most meaningful part of the whole thing was after I had explained the cause behind this 5K to Trae on the way there, when we had finished, Trae met a young boy in the park who had just moved into his new Habitat for Humanity home a week ago. That was pretty awesome for Trae to hear from someone whose family actually participated and benefited from this wonderful program.” The Harmony Hustle 2013 will definitely be a great memory for Stacy and Trae as well as anyone else involved in the event.

The 10K Run had 14 participants, trophies for 1st male & female; medals for 2nd & 3rd. The 5K Run/Walk had 77 participants, trophies for overall 1st male & female & 15 first place medals for age groups, the 1K Kids Challenge (included obstacle course) had 16 participants; not a timed race; would be nice to list the kids names if possible.


Sarah Tollefsrud - Mabel

Mike Gjere - Lanesboro


Natalie Jech - Winona

Bryan Lindquist - Winona

Our Oldest 5K participant was Harvey Benson from Harmony at age 82.

Our youngest 5K participant was Izzy Cerniglia from Holmen at Age 6


Calvin Bergen - Peterson; Age 10

Karl Bergen - Peterson; Age 6

Clayton Bockhoven - Independence; Age 8

Isabella Cerniglia - Holmen; Age 6

Maddie Eslinger - Shakopee; Age 9

Owen Eslinger - Shakopee; Age 4

Sylvia Glocke - Spring Valley; Age 7

Cooper Jenatscheck - Pardeeville; Age 8

Jessie Meyer - Spring Valley; Age 4

Kylie Meyer - Spring Valley; Age 6

Morgan Phillips - Spring Valley; Age 7

Nathan Pfremmer - Preston; Age 6

Ryan Prinsen - Rushford; Age 7

Ryan Sanders - Rochester; Age 9

Over $2000 was raised to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

The celebration concluded with an Ecumenical Church Service in Selvig Park on Sunday, July 7 followed by a Brunch for the community in Selvig Park. Each year the town of Harmony holds a fun and memorable Fourth of July Celebration that could not be held without the hard work and sponsorship by many area residents and businesses. Each of these groups, individuals, and businesses deserve a round of applause for their dedication to Harmony’s Fourth of July Celebration and for the memories made by all who attended.

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