Lots of Iowa cities and towns are celebrating Independence Day today, but only one of them is named “Independence.” The community of about six-thousand people in eastern Iowa is one of only 12 communities in the U.S. named “Independence.”
The one in Iowa is celebrating not only the nation’s birthday but also its own. Today it wraps up a two-day party, including a reading of the Declaration of Independence later this morning.
Michelle McBride of the Independence Day Celebration Committee says the reading of the declaration helps them remember what the holiday is about.
“It’s fun to celebrate, it’s fun to have fireworks, and entertainment and music, just like any other birthday party, but that kind of homes in on why we are here, why we are celebrating this,” she says. “So that’s, I think, a really special touch to our celebration.”
The city’s Independence Day celebration has made it a destination for the holiday. McBride says the local population swells to about 14,000 for the festival.
“We’ve learned over the years that we are pulling in many people from outside of Independence, outside of Buchanan County and sometimes outside of Iowa—that they plan their Fourth of July celebration to be in Independence,” she says.
The festivities end tonight fireworks show, which McBride says every year people call the best they’ve ever seen.