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.

2021 Miss Independence and Mr. Firecracker

Nolan Brashear
Mr. Firecracker

St. John Lutheran School – 4th Grade

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Why I Like to Live in Seward

In the typical day in summer, I wake up and go to the park.  Then I walk down to Chapter’s Books or the library.  I like books.  The Courthouse Square is awesome. 

Seward makes me feel welcome.  There is always some event like the Fourth of July going on in Seward.  Everyone is happy to help. I can walk to a friend’s house.

Everyone is nice.  They’re supper friendly.  They make me feel like I fit in.  Where ever you go, expect “Hi!”

It’s the best town ever! It’s the perfect size.  We have good schools like St. John, St. Vincent, Seward Public and Concordia University.

All in all, Seward is the best!

Aaron Royuk
Mr. Firecracker – Runner-Up

St. John Lutheran School – 4th Grade

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Why I Like to Live in Seward

There are lots of things to do and places to go in Seward.

There are many good food places like Subway, Casey’s and DQ. At Subway, you can order whatever you want on your sub. Casey’s pizza is amazing. At DQ there is great ice cream and Blizzards.

There are also lots of sports options. If you go to most schools, you will probably have a track team. You can join a baseball team in Seward and play in close places. If you get invited, you can join a basketball team if you are older.

There are lots of places to go. You can go to the pool. They have a diving board and a waterslide. You can go to the  movie theater. They have awesome snacks. There are lots of parks, all over town!

In conclusion, I love living in Seward because there is great food, sports and places to go!

Sawyer Wollenburg
Miss Independence

St. John Lutheran School – 3rd Grade

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Why I Like to Live in Seward

One reason why I like to live in Seward is that every year my family gets the Brown Boxes. The Brown Boxes are boxes that have different trips around Seward. This year there were two Brown Boxes. One was to visit the cemeteries of Seward County, and the other to view the wildlife such as birds, deer, fish, insects, and more. Last year my family and I went on one of the Brown Box trips for Ridge Road. My aunt came with us, and we did bingo cards, and to get a bingo you had to find things until you got 5 in a row! Some of the things you had to find were beehives, butterflies, birds, deer, and a pond. This year my family and I did the wildlife Brown Box first. We heard frogs, birds, and bees. We also saw some ducks, geese, and Red Winged Blackbirds. We also got to do a puzzle. Did you know there are many wetland areas near Seward? Did you know there’s an artesian well a little ways away from Seward in Cordova? It flows 4 hundred gallons of water per minute. 

 Another reason is because we get to go to the 4th of July parade. We get to go and get the candy from the street and watch the floats. After the parade we get to count how many candies we got. Once I got up to 100. One year I went to my Nana and Papa’s house for the 4th of July. I got 150 pieces of candy! 

I’m also glad to live in Seward because of the parks it has! One of my favorite parks is the military park. There are 2 slides and it is shaped like a helicopter! Inside there is a board that shows you all the states. Plus, there is a tunnel, and it has pretend helicopter gears. Another park is the Elementary Park. It has 5 slides and monkey bars. It also has tire swings and a wobbly ladder. I love the Elementary Park because of all the fun equipment it has. They built a new Elementary Park, but it’s twice as good! And one more park is Karol Kay Park. It has a long spiral purple slide and four other slides. It also has monkey bars, merry-go-round, and swings!

My 4th favorite thing I like about Seward is the county fair. The first thing we always go see are the rabbits. Then we go to see the chickens, tractors, and the 4-H building. I always go to the rabbit show. 

I love Seward so much especially because of the school I go to! St. John is an awesome school, and it has an awesome playground. It also has awesome teachers like Mrs. Gebhardt, Mrs. Soflin, Mrs. Meyer, Mrs. Royuk, and Mr. Meyer. 

I hope you love Seward as much as my family and I do! Have a happy 4th of July, everybody!

Ava Nitz
Miss Independence – Runner-Up

St. John Lutheran School – 4th Grade

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Why I Like to Live in Seward

Hey there! Do you want to know all the fun parts in Seward? Because, it is not an everyday, boring town. It is better than an old town.  Seward is a great place to live if you’re trying to find a home.  It has fun places, food and outdoors.

Let start with the fun places.  We have a bowling alley. If you are a toddler that wants to go bowling, it has a dragon shaped slide for the kid to have little boast.  We also have a swimming pool.  It has a diving board, a slide and a kiddy pool for every age to have fun.  Let we have a water tower.  Don’t judge me by my likes.  It’s useful. The whole town gets fresh, clean water and guess what? There are two of them!  I’ve been here my whole life, and I don’t know some of the parts of Seward.  To me, the town is pretty big.

Next, we have food.  There’s Runza. Their food is great.  It’s not that big but it is useful. Also there is Sparetime.  It is next door to the bowling alley and you’re in luck-they have fast food.  It takes them 20 minutes.  Last, there is Café on the Square. It is a real Café.

Finally, of course, we have outdoors.  The bike trail is fun, long and perfect for exercise.  I like the highway.  What is a highway doing in town? No one knows. There are lots of parks scattered around Seward. Last, you can find lots of baseball fields and lots of sports.  

Well, I hope you had fun on the tour of Seward. And if you’re still trying to find a home, why not try 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.

2020 – Michael Frisbie, Darien Sugden, Carly Kolterman, Jordyn Samuels
2019 – Quinton Moore, Henry Wake, Kennedy Dominy, Samantha Quist
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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