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Effort underway to bring back Hartford 4th of July Parade

Hartford, WI –  A true community effort is underway to breathe new life into the recently canceled Hartford July 4th Parade.

Hartford July 4 parade

It was May 11, 2023, when City Administrator Steve Volkert relayed the news.

For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, Hartford will not be having a 4th of July Parade.”

As word spread around Hartford so did the spirit of commitment to tradition and community values to celebrate the freedom of America.

Hartford July 4 parade

Click HERE to help volunteer and get involved with the Hartford July 4th Parade

A group was started on social media, Coalition to Save the 4th of July Parade. Within several hours the page grew to an army of over 100 neighbors looking to pull off the event.

A couple familiar businesses have expressed an interest including Laufer Trucking which will help transport veterans and a band through the parade route.

Plans are still being organized and details nailed down.

Volkert said, “They have all the applications so they could definitely do it and we will be glad to work with them just as we have prior groups.”

The coalition is working to secure insurance which is needed for a parade permit.  Stay tuned.

Below is the original cancelation story that ran May 11, 2023.

For the past many years, the Hartford Jaycees put on this parade under the guidance of Aaron and Rachel Smiley. In 2021, the Jaycees disbanded and the Smiley’s asked The Mill group to allow them to run the event under their umbrella as a not-for-profit organization.

After the recent passing of Aaron Smiley, it was determined by The Mill that they did not have the bandwidth to put on such a large event and they let the city know of this development.

Aaron Smiley

Other local organizations including the Downtown Business Improvement District and Chamber of Commerce were made aware of the change.

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The Chamber already puts on several events including the heavily attended Christmas Parade in November while the local veteran’s organizations host the Memorial Day Parade.

Hartford July 4 parade

The 4th of July Fireworks in Hartford will be held at dusk on the July 4, 2023, at Independence Park; this will still be the site for a bigger and better show.

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