It takes a village to throw a great party

Another great Fourth of July celebration is in the history books. Tens of thousands of people gathered in Monmouth and Independence for the Western Days and Hometown Stars and Stripes celebrations over the weekend, while hundreds gathered in Dallas Monday night for music, food and fireworks.

Saturday, a last-minute parade and potluck drew a crowd in Falls City.

As we enjoyed — and covered — events around Polk County, we noticed all the volunteer effort that went into making a seamless event.

From the Community Art Show and Art in the Park in Monmouth, to the Hometown Celebration in Independence, it is thanks to people putting in the hours year-round to organize those events — from recruiting the vendors to lining up the live music to planning and executing the pyrotechnic displays — that make it possible.

Dallas and Falls City were not to be left out of the Independence Day fun. Though Dallas’ organizers took a step back from an all-day event, the evening was packed with a good time for all.

Falls City nearly missed out on the weekend celebrations, but thanks to community-minded business owners, a successful and patriotic parade was followed by a potluck where the mayor flipped hamburgers and cooked hotdogs for all.

Another thing we noticed was the enormous support from law enforcement throughout Polk County. Walking through Independence Riverview Park were officers from Dallas Police Department and deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Monmouth and Independence police officers worked in both towns as if there were no city limit signs.

We appreciate living in a community that comes together at all levels — from citizen volunteers to first responders to law enforcement — during times of celebration.

Thank you all for another great weekend packed with fun Fourth of July events.

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