Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

About as Americana as it gets, July 4 in North Morristown July 1, 2022

The popular bluegrass band, Monroe Crossing, performs at 1:30 pm and 4 pm on July 4 in North Morristown. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo July 2016)

YOU LIKELY HAVE PLANS for the Fourth of July. But, if you don’t and live in southern Minnesota, I’d suggested attending the North Morristown July 4 celebration. This event is grassroots rural Americana through and through.

The homemade strawberry pie I ordered at the Pie Stand last Fourth of July. All pies are homemade. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo July 2021)

It’s vintage food stands, homemade pie, old tractors packing the parade, music by Minnesota musicians (like Monroe Crossing), handcrafted kiddie rides and games, BINGO, a patriot program, fireworks and so much more.

One of the many vintage food stands which add to the nostalgic charm of this celebration. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo July 2021)

I direct you (click here) to my most recent photo essay and accompanying copy published this week in the July issue of Southern Minn Scene, a regional arts and entertainment magazine. I create a column, “Through a SoMinn Lens,” for this monthly publication. My latest piece, “North Morristown on July 4, a slice of Americana,” features 24 of my photos in a 3.5-page spread, beginning on page 22 of Scene.

Kids’ activities are to the left, food and beverage stands to the right and the entertainment stage straight ahead. This event is well-attended. Admission is free, but please purchase a button to help cover costs. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo)

Perhaps my column will convince those of you who live in Minnesota to attend the Fourth of July celebration in North Morristown, which is not an actual town. This is simply a place in the middle of farm fields, west of Faribault and north of Morristown. The festival grounds sits across from Trinity Lutheran Church and School and next to farm sites and acreage.

The kiddie rides are homemade and vintage. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo July 2021)

I’ve attended many times and love the down-home feel of this celebration, which is also a reunion of sorts for those who grew up in this area (which is not me). I recognize many of you, my readers, come to my blog from afar. So please enjoy North Morristown on the Fourth via my images and words.

My husband enjoys his cheeseburger at the North Morristown Fourth of July celebration in 2016. I make no apologies for the grease-stained fingernails of this hardworking automotive machinist. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2016)

Happy Fourth!

TELL ME: How are you celebrating the Fourth of July?

Note: If you have seen my story on newsprint, please view it again online. The paper copy of the magazine has issues with clarity of images, and not just mine. All photos I submitted for publication are sharp, clear and focused, unlike the end printing results.

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


11 Responses to “About as Americana as it gets, July 4 in North Morristown”

  1. beth Says:

    oh, everything about this looks wonderful!

  2. Nothing official on the 4th. I think I will sit in silent reflection on what a democracy is suppose to be…representative of ALL citizens!

    • Happy Fourth, Paula! Yes, that’s something to contemplate…

      • Thanks. It was nice and quiet here.😊

      • I expect loud noises like fireworks are difficult for you to hear. Totally understandable. I am so saddened by yet another mass shooting in America, this time at a parade in Highland Park, ILL.

        I had a lovely Fourth at North Morristown. Listening to music, talking to people and enjoying delicious homemade food.

      • Yup, not really my thing, even less when I don’t expect them to go off.

        All I can do anymore when I hear about shootings in the states is shake my head in disbelief of a system that has allowed for this sort of behavior to continue! I know what the answer is (as many citizens do!) limit guns to those who need them for law enforcement and military. Strictly control the movement and types of weapons for those using them for hunting. Can’t see the US will ever get there… sad that a weapon is so tightly woven into the ego of being American.

        So happy to hear that you enjoyed a relaxed 4th.

      • I recognize how difficult it is for you to hear fireworks, etc. given your combat experience.

        I fully agree with you on gun violence and the “solutions” and attitudes. Innocent people continue to die from gun violence and yet nothing really changes.

  3. Sandra Says:

    My Dad’s aunt and uncle emigrated in 1890, sponsored him in 1924. Tante Anna was one of the many women that never learned english, long time members of Morristown Trinity. Wonder if one of those wooden sheds my great uncle hammered on? Yup, spent my first 14 yrs. there on the 4th, absolutely as Americana as it gets! An area institution. Always had best food! reasonably priced. Warms my heart school still going. Now too long a drive, left to enjoy your pictures and stories. Thanks!

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