Mr. Firecracker and Miss Independence

Anvil Firing at the 4th of July Celebration in Seward, Nebraska

Mr. Firecracker and Miss Independence

The July 4th Mr. Firecracker and Miss Independence Essay contest is sponsored by the Seward Rotary Club. Phil Bangert is the Project Chairman.  Essays are judged by a volunteer panel of members of the Seward Rotary Club.  The Rotary Club has sponsored this project since 1967.

The students are honored at the Chamber Kick-Off Luncheon, read their essays there and are also guests with their families at a Rotary Luncheon and read their essays at the Rotary Club meeting.  They attend the Governor’s Reception on July 4, ride in the Grand parade and read their essays at the Bandshell on July 4.  They all receive a trophy and bag of fireworks and their photo and essay are printed in the local, Special Edition of the Seward Independent.  Their essays are also placed on the Seward July 4 website.

2019 Miss Independence and Mr. Firecracker

Quinton Moore
Mr. Firecracker

St. John Luthern School – Grade 3

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Why I Like to Live In Seward

Seward is a good place to live.  It has many restaurants, stores, houses, schools, places to visit, and fun things to do.  These are some of my favorites.</ br>

Concordia is an amazing place!  It is 125 years old. Its mascot is a bulldog.  The women’s basketball team was both GPAC and NAIA champions this year!  I like watching them play. My dad also works at Concordia. I like to visit him in his office, and he is the theater professor, so I get to watch a lot of his plays.  Three of my favorite plays are Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, and Harvey.  I even got to be in Mary Poppins!  I played one of the kids in the park, and I got to fly a kite.  Founders Hall was the birthplace of Concordia. Now it is where all the sets for the plays are built and where they make all the costumes.  Link Library has the rock museum. They have glowing rocks, gem stones, and geodes.

Seward has the county fair.  I like all the projects! You can do dioramas, photography, cooking and build furniture.  You can also bring in animals like pigs, horses, cows, ducks, geese, chickens, and sheep. I am in 4H, and I love to serve food at the 4H Food Stand.  My club is the Green Team. We make the food and fill the orders.

Seward’s public library is very good!  I like the summer programs and all the books there.  They get lots of new books all the time. It is fun to be the first person to check them out.  This year’s summer reading program has a space theme. You get prizes for how many minutes you read.  They have escape rooms and movies this year.

Plum Creek is a great park!  I play soccer there, but you can also play disc golf, baseball, softball, sand volleyball, basketball, and tennis.  There is also a big biking and walking trail. Lots of people use it. We go to Plum Creek Park on field trips. We have a picnic, play games, play on the playground, and fly kites.

I go to St. John Lutheran School.  We get to learn about Jesus. We have chapel every Wednesday, and every class gets to lead chapel.  This year we got to do Puzzled Penguin in our new math books. He always gets the wrong answer, and we have to tell him what he did wrong.  My teacher was Mrs. Gebhardt, and we got to raise chicks. St. John has a good playground with a basketball court and a big field. I can’t wait to do band in 5th grade!

Seward is the 4th of July City!  We have the best fireworks!  Lots of people come to see them.  You can go see the parade and get lots of candy.  There is lots of food to eat all day long. You can get pancakes, BBQ, ice cream, pizza and funnel cake.  There is also an airplane show. There is always something fun to do.

That is why I like Seward, NE!

Henry Wake
Mr. Firecracker – Runner-Up

St. John Lutheran School – Grade 3

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Why I Like to Live In Seward

I like living in Seward, Nebraska!

I like Seward because it is not crowded and we can ride our bikes on the walking trail.  I also like to go to the library because I like to read.

I like the coffee shop, because their food is the best.

The Seward police keep us safe and the Seward Firemen keep our houses from burning down.

I like the people in Seward because they are friendly, and they care about our town.

The schools and teachers help us learn.

Seward is the “Fourth of July City” for Nebraska!  I like the parade.  Seward has the best celebration of our country’s independence.  I also like the fireworks.  They are loud!

Seward is a good place to live!

Kennedy Dominy
Miss Independence

Seward Elementary School – Grade 4

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Why I Like to Live In Seward

Boom!  Kapow! Crack!  Have you seen the fireworks in Seward, the 4th of July City?  I feel so lucky to live in Seward, Nebraska, where I get to see the fantastic firework show each year.  There are many reasons that I like to live in Seward. Seward is a spectacular place to grow up!

One reason I like Seward is that our community is the 4th of July City.  We have a huge parade that celebrates why our country and community is so great.  We like to begin the parade by honoring the Veterans and men and women who serve or who have served our country.  It is amazing to see! Also, we have a very big and colorful firework show so everyone can come and celebrate with us.  All of the contests are at the Bandshell, like the Pie Eating Contest and Bubblegum Blowing Contest, are so much fun! There are several yummy food trucks in Seward on the 4th of July, but I have to say the Dippin’ Dots truck is my favorite!  I love the 4th of July in Seward!

Another reason I like Seward is we have great schools, parks, and a fun swimming pool!  My teachers help me learn new things in exciting ways and challenge me to do well. Seward has many different parks that give kids a chance to run and play.  The Seward Dowding Municipal Pool is awesome because it has diving boards and a water slide, and even a place for little kids to splash around. I love going swimming at the Seward pool in the summertime!

Last, but not least, I like Seward because of all of the very nice people who live here.  Many people in Seward are generous and volunteer to help others to make our community better.  We have brave police officers and firefighters who keep our town safe. All of the people who work in our businesses, doctors, teachers, and so many others work together to make Seward a great community.   The people make Seward an incredible place to live!

As you can see, I really like Seward for many different reasons.  I hope you have the opportunity to live in Seward, Nebraska and enjoy it as much as I do!

Samantha Quist
Miss Independence – Runner-Up

Seward Elementary School – Grade 4

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Why I Love Seward

I love Seward, because it is a great humble town. There are not many accidents, car wrecks, robbers, or bullies. It is not crowded, like Omaha, but not rural, like Dixon. Seward has 7,000 people, a perfect amount of rural and urban mix.

There are no truly mean people in Seward. If you have ever taken a stroll in downtown everybody smiles at you, good mood or bad, if you smile back or not. Nobody is moody, or cross, and unless you are fighting with a sibling at home, nobody back-talks.

Another reason I love Seward is that it has great schools.  I have learned a lot, and whoever hires the teachers should not retire, because so far, I have had awesome teachers! And at school, I have made amazing friends, which backs-up the point that everyone is nice.

The Seward swimming pool is really fun too! I love to splash in the water with my friends, jump off the diving boards, and go down the slide.  The swimming lessons have made me an amazing swimmer, and I am thankful for becoming such a good swimmer because of the lessons.

I also love the city’s recreational sports! I am so happy and thankful that there are sports teams in Seward, because if there were not, I would not get to play soccer, softball, basketball, and the list goes on and on. Some towns do not have sports teams for kids, so the fact that Seward does is wonderful, so we do not have to drive a distance to get to practice.

There are lots of things to do with your family in Seward, such as going to the park, Movie Theater, or library. At the parks in Seward, there is a lot of equipment for kids to play on. At the Rivoli Theater, there are many kid appropriate movies, and adults will be laughing with the kids. At the Seward Memorial Library, there are many programs for all ages!

People are very generous in Seward too. They are always giving back to the community. People raised money for a new bus, and for people who were sick, by doing fundraisers.

And of course, we cannot forget that Seward is the official 4th of July city of Nebraska. Our 4th of July celebration is HUGE! We shoot off many fireworks, and I do not know any person who does not celebrate the 4th.

As you can see, I love living in Seward. It is a wonderful place to live! If I lived in Lincoln or Milford, and would happen to read this, I would move to Seward right away! And that is why I love Seward!

Previous Winners

Winner from previous years are listed in order of Mr. Firecracker, Mr. Firecracker Runner-Up, Miss Independence and Miss Independence Runner-Up.

2018 – Ethan Boggs, Layne Luebbe, Lily Brashear, Ayda Metschke
2017 – Lawson Luebbe, Connor Sveeggen, Molly Marroquin, Makayla Mumaugh
2016 – Conner Matzke, Matthew Schultz, Noelle Geidel, Ella Mohnike
2015 – Noah Fields, Braeden Dey, Julya Metschke, Sophia Matthias
2014 – Sam Matthias, Hank Hughes, Claire Geidel, Grace Roberts
2013 – Nathan Miller, Justin Matulka, Sydney Christensen, Hannah Bierbaum
2012 – Matthew Sherman, J. J. Metschke, Destiney Grunke, Corbynne Jester
2011 – Theo Hughes, Alec Sackschewsky, Kenna Piskoriski, Hannah Helmer
2010 – Jaden Volzke, Angelo Wignall, Lena Hughes, Gretchen Moll
2009 – Nathan Bierbaum, Grant Hartman, Lydia Asplin, Kenna Michaelson
2008 – Dakota Fernau, Matthew Sherman, Leah Sackschewsky, Madison Geidel
2007 – Adam Holtorf, Jacob Sloup, Morgan Doehring, Madison & Kelsey Sloup
2006 – Joel Ketner, Joe Gremel & Jacob Bierbaum, Ashlyn Hanson, Kristi Einspahr
2005 – Thomas Suhr, Andrew Cahoon, Sierra Wignall, Grace Halder
2004 – Sam Brauer, Adam Holtorf, Emily Culp, Brittany Baumbach
2003 – John Cahoon, Brandon Schaefer, Kara Einspahr, Emmi Moll
2002 – Richie Graves, Jake Suhr, Allison Pearson, Kylie Schildt
2001 – Clint Aegerter, Nathan Klintworth, Jennifer Gleisberg, Emma Blanke
2000 – Mitch Lyons, Nate Stepp, Alyssa McConnell, Felicia Kolterman
1999 – Austin Adamek, Rodney Mueller, Susan Neimoth, Katie Hofer
1998 – Cade Luebbe, Ben Gremel, Katie Bangert, Carrie Niemoth
1997 – John Sloup, Ben Hartmann, Katie Karel, Jessica Helge
1996 – Wesley Mahalek, Jim Thomas, Stephanie Frey, Jennifer Hartmann
1995 – Conor Hofer, Gavin Koehler, Wendy McConnell, Kate Owens
1994 – Tim Hartmann, Steven Pike, Megan Zabrocki, Stephanie Hotovy
1993 – Derek Hain, Blake Schulz, Rachael Schulz, Sarah Bollwitt
1992 – John Riggert, Craig Aldrich, Beth Kilzer, Kylie Brand
1991 – Dan Schipper, Matt Dinslage, Amanda McConnell, Jessica Kolterman
1990 – Ben Pratt, Nathan Kolterman, Stacie Kotera, Katie Dickinson
1989 – Ryan Brauer, Ryan Kinworthy, Alexa Pragman, Tina Schmeiding
1988 – Joshua Eickmeier, Titus DeBoer, Christine Mueri, Jamie Nesbitt
1987 – Cory Wood, Jeff Kimball, Amy Horton, Amy Gausman
1986 – Jason Zimbelmann, Andrew Schlueter, Suzy Ohlmann, Rebecca Mannigel
1985 – Greg Karpenko, Jeff Matzke, Angie Coon, Melissa Zabka
1984 – Jason Meyer, Tim Mannigel, Nicole Erks, Ann Pavletich
1983 – Mark Stein, Matt Ehrlich, Marie Obermueller, Angela Yost
1982 – Trent Thorell, Tom Pfliger, Mary Smith, Misty Brooks
1981 – Ray Koch, Nathan Lucas, Lisa Urbanek, Cari Hain
1980 – Scott Broekemeier, Doug Ortlieb, Anne Warner, Corrie Stelmachowicz
1979 – David Miers, Craig Jelinek, Bevin Gerkensmeyer, Kim Jost
1978 – Scott Seevers, David Stohs, Jennifer Kruse, Jennifer Rhode
1977 – Dan Oetting, Lukas Galen, Jill Volzke, Julie McConnell
1976 – Jon Oetting, David Stewart IV, Liz Brunworth, Kristy Rocker
1975 – Peter Glawatz, Tim Kraft, Kim Whittemore, Teresa Zoucha
1974 – John Korinko, Bob Schulz, Kris Plamann, Ginnelle Mueller
1973 – Peter Meyer, Alan Geis, Cara Hans, Barb Fiala
1971 – Kevin Probst, Doug Geis, Diane Sanders, Barb Geis
1970 – Brian Keller, Jean Brigham
1969 – David Lange, Michael Preuss, Brenda Peter, Susie Nutzman
1968 – Mark Schultz, William Roundey, Pam Jeary, Connie Schultz
1967 – Susan Boals, Miss Centennial

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