DAWSON COUNTY — The celebration of the United States independence was in full swing throughout the area on Thursday, July 4. Firework displays, boat parades, 5K runs, were all held.

The Johnson Lake “Light up the Lake,” fireworks show was held on Wednesday July 3. The show was shot off from the dam with hundreds of people showing up to watch.

There was an inadvertent problem as people were leaving the lake and heading back to Lexington. The construction on the Highway 283 Platte River bridge created a bottle neck and created a line which stretched over a mile long. The Nebraska State Patrol had to stop traffic coming south and wave the line through the stoplight to relieve the traffic jam.

The Johnson Lake Boat Parade took place on the morning of July 4. Despite the high winds there were around 13 different entries. Themes ranged from a Hawaii volcano, military tributes, “Barn in the USA,” farm theme, and several other patriotic displays. The event is organized by the Johnson Lake Chamber of Commerce.

The Lexington firework display is sponsored by the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce. There was a change this year in who handled the fireworks show.

LACC Executive Director Sarah Neben said they found out in early 2019 Gregory Hartman who had handled the fireworks show in the past was planning to retire. A name which came up as a possible replacement was Larry Steinberger.

Neben said Steinberger came and made a presentation to the LACC executive board in early May and they voted to have Steinberger plan and coordinate the 2019 show.

“I was so pleased with how the fireworks show turned out and to see how many folks came out to watch,” she said.

People got to see an amazing 25 minute show which was a,” constant barrage of light and sound,” which was a thrill to watch, Neben said, “I thought to myself and said, wow I can’t believe this, several times.”

“We so appreciate all of Steinburger’s hard work and preparation and to all those who helped,” Neben said, “Chamber Board President Darin Buescher loaned Steinberger the use of one of his garages to begin setting the fireworks up. I have heard many good comments about the show, and it was a wonderful way to celebrate our nation’s birthday.”

The Lexington show ended just as a sprinkling of rain started to fall. Thunderstorms had developed to the south near Gosper and Phelps County but moved slowly to the northeast and spared Lexington the worst of the rain.

Residents put on their own personal firework displays throughout the towns and county. The rain held off long enough in Lexington for many to launch off their fireworks in time.

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