Sumner’s July Fourth Festival Promises Weekend of Fun

SUMNER – Fourth of July weekend bustles nowhere more than in Sumner. For three days, starting on Saturday, July 2, and spanning all the way through the Fourth itself, the town will host its annual celebration from sunup to sundown.

The celebration’s, and accompanying parade’s, theme this year is “We didn’t realize we were making memories; we just knew we were having fun,” a theme that resonates with the ongoing spirit of the festival, according to organizer Kristin Triplett.

“We think this is a really great theme for what Sumner’s all about. These are the things that we do every year.”

Bruce Eberle of Tub’s Pub agrees. “It seems like we do something different every year, but really we’re just having fun together.”

Kicking off the fun on Saturday will be a Co-Ed Sand Volleyball Tournament bright and early at 8 a.m. Another highlight will be a two-division corn hole tournament at 5 p.m.: one division for amateurs and one geared for the more competitive set.

An alumni banquet hosted by SEM alums at 5:30 on Saturday, beginning just after the tournament; Eberle says the banquet is a longstanding, far-reaching tradition.

“We’ve been doing this for over a hundred years. There’s a lot of people out there who have a story that connects to Sumner somehow, and the alumni banquet provides a nice time to reconnect.”

Saturday also includes a 5k Run and Walk as well as a 7:30 p.m. Calcutta at the Sumner Community Hall sponsored by the Sumner Saddle Club.

Sunday offers a 10 a.m. outdoor community church service, an 11 a.m. lunch buffet at Tub’s Pub, a 7:30 p.m. rodeo, and a 9:30 p.m. street dance featuring the South Loup Sunrise Band; the cover is five dollars.

July 4th, the final day of the celebration and Independence Day, presents the crown jewel of the celebration: the parade at 10:30 a.m. The event is a favorite among those from inside Sumner and out, Eberle included.

“You see everything. We have guys bringing in tractors, big industrial farming equipment, and then you’ll see families that decorate a float and get involved. And that’s what we want to see: people getting out and having a good time.”

Afterward, there will be foot races, a lunch served by the SEM cheer team at the high school gym, and a 1:30 rodeo.

Other highlights are the Firecracker Festival from 3 p.m. until 9, karaoke at Tub’s between 4 p.m. and 7, axe throwing between 3 p.m. and 8, the Sumner Fireman’s BBQ at 5:30, and fireworks at the baseball field at dusk.

In the words of Eberle: “Sumner is the place to be on the Fourth of July.”

Below is a full itinerary for the weekend.