EVART — Folks from all over Osceola County and much further afield gathered in Evart for their annual celebration of Independence Day in the best traditions of Smalltown, USA.

Celebrating the Fourth of July as a community is an old, time-tested tradition in Evart.

In 1876, residents of this rapidly growing village held a gala celebration with the village president announcing, “We shall hold our own celebration and mark for our citizens the arrival of the centennial of independence for this glorious Republic.”

They did then, and continue to do so today.

The fun began early on Sunday evening, July 3, at 7 p.m., with an exciting concert presented at the Osceola County Fairgrounds, featuring “Shout!” — a popular Beatles salute group who have headlined the Evart entertainment for a number of years now.

Non-stop musical favorites fill the fairgrounds until dusk when one of the best pyrotechnic displays in this part of the country exploded across the night sky.

People come from all over to see the “Greatest Fireworks in the North” during Evart’s fireworks display.

This year was no different.

The “oooooos” and “ahhhhhhhs” marked a real appreciation for the impressive “bombs bursting in air.”

On Monday, the fun began with a huge parade down Main Street that lasted well over an hour.

There were floats, bands, politicians, lots of vintage tractors and bucket loads of goodies tossed to anxious kids waiting on the sidelines. Then everyone headed down to Riverside Park where the annual community Party in the Park was kicking off. This year the party was bigger and better than ever with thousands racing from inflatable games, to food venders, to numerous musical performance on a variety of stages and all sorts of opportunities to spend the day in a family and community atmosphere.

Then, home for family gatherings throughout the weekend.

As they say in the newspaper business — a great time was had by all.