One Nebraska town has gained national attention for the way it celebrates our nation's birthday. Seward's biggest event of the year got started early Wednesday morning.
It's a tradition long before fireworks became a part of July 4th. Anvil shooting, dating back to colonial day, kicks off Seward's party with a big bang.
"Been doing it since 1967," said Clark Kolterman. "That was a Centennial year and we were looking for some tradition to establish."
Seward was founded in 1867. In 1868, the community decided to hold a 4th of July party. They dug a well at the courthouse square. Since then, it's been the center of celebrations.
This is the 144th Independence Day festival in Seward, a town which proudly proclaims itself Nebraska's 4th of July city. The community of nearly 7,000 grows to 40,000 for the day. The all-long event takes a lot of preparation.
"We order lots of portable toilets and food vendors," said Kolterman.
With more than 100 activities and events, there's something for everyone. Whether you've been coming for 45 years or only a few years, for many, Seward's tradition is a family tradition. Ryan Hurst has memories here as a little boy. Now he's bringing his own family.
"For me it’s a time to not just celebrate the country but also what God has blessed us with," said Hurst.