Past to Present Troy’s Annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration
Re-printed Article by Zandra Johnson
Photo right: Jim Bowen of Troy pulling the Boy Scouts parade float for the 4th of July parade in 1961. Photo left: A photo taken of JM Clothing’s float in the 1964 4th of July celebration parade, that year marked the 100th anniversary of Montana becoming a territory. photo courtesy Clyde Bowen
Summertime in Troy is beautiful. If you live or even just visit family or friends here there is one day that children and adults alike look forward to, the 4th of July.
Even before Troy was incorporated as a city in 1915, celebrations of our nation’s independence took place here. Before there was a Chamber of Commerce to help organize it people still got together to make a special day take place for Troy. Jim Bowen, a lifetime resident, is one of those people along with a handful of others. Before having it at the City Park, the 4th of July celebration used to take place beside Morrison Elementary in the ball fields.
Bowen recalls even further back to the year 1964 when he was nine. It was a pretty big deal that “Wallaby and Jack” were coming to Troy for the 4th of July, he said. They were the stars of a local after- school TV program in Spokane, Wash. Jack was a clown and had his pet Wallaby by his side for all the children to marvel at, even handing out bubble gum, Jim recalled. They also had a ‘grease poll’ that year. They perched a twenty dollar bill at the top and whoever could make it up to get it could claim the money.
In the early 1990’s resident Tammy Anderson started volunteering for the 4th of July. She would continue every year until about 2008 serving as president for a few years on The Chamber of Commerce. “It was a fun, happy, and very busy time,” Tammy said in an interview with The Montanian. Still involved today, Tammy is past Chairwoman of the local Tender Lovin’ Quilters. The group will hold their annual show on July 3 and 4 in conjunction with other festivities.
There will be no shortage of entertainment for all ages and interests this year. The PTA/Booster Club will hold a 5K Community Color run/walk, and an all congregation church service which has been held annually since 2010 will be offered for the community to worship together. There will even be an old fashioned breakfast served at Roosevelt Park where you won’t empty your wallet to fill your plate. Attending the parade, the many activities, and of course staying to watch the spectacular fireworks display is sure to create some fantastic memories and continue Troy’s traditions.
People start planning, sometimes months ahead, for their participation in Troy’s parade, everyone is welcome. With local businesses, organizations, citizens, classic car owners, pet owners, the volunteer fire department, and even Smokey the Bear joining in along with many others, the parade will be sure to please eager families lining the streets to enjoy it.
Darren Coldwell, previous County Administrator and a volunteer organizer of the parade for seven years now said, “I would personally like to thank all the volunteers, all of the people that help the Chamber of Commerce to make the 4th of July event successful.” As with any long-running celebration, it takes hard work and new volunteers to take over jobs others have done for years. The beer garden at Roosevelt Park was run by Trojan Lanes from 2010-2017.
Bob Welch who founded Troy Cruzers Car Club, asked friend Joe Arts at the time, if he thought it was a good idea and to join him in the efforts back in 2002. This will be the club’s twenty first 4th of July show.
The Troy Volunteer Fire Department (TVFD) will oversee fireworks which will be held at dusk. The show has been sponsored by the community and Chamber of Commerce. For the past ten or so years, the approximate cost was ten thousand dollars and with that, Troy has built an acclaimed reputation for their fireworks exhibit. This year there will be multiple food and craft booths including local young artists. “Supporting these artists/crafters will encourage them to return,” said Jody, the past Troy Chamber President.
However you choose to celebrate the 4th of July and America’s independence, please stay safe and have fun. That’s what Troy’s Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration is all about.
Fireworks and Respecting American Veterans During the Independence Holiday
Submitted by The Conversation VA
For some combat veterans, the Fourth of July is not a time to celebrate the independence of the country they love. Instead, the holiday is a terrifying ordeal. That’s because the noise of fireworks – loud, sudden, and reminiscent of war – rocks their nervous system.
This reaction is not unique to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Up to 30% of combat veterans and first responders, and 8% of civilians, fulfill the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. That criteria is not easily met. Symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive trauma memories, difficulty sleeping, avoidance of reminders of trauma, negative emotions, and “hyperarousal symptoms.” Many war veterans suffer from PTSD. For some, the sounds of fireworks can be terrifying. Fireworks can trigger severe flashbacks.
Those of us who set off fireworks need to ask ourselves: Are those few minutes of fun worth the hours, days, or weeks of torment that will begin for some of our friends and neighbors – including many who put their lives on the line to protect us?
There are ways to reduce how fireworks affect others. Light fireworks in designated areas during designated times. If you’re aware that a veteran or trauma survivor lives in the neighborhood, move the noise as far as possible from their home. Consider putting a sign in your front yard noting the time you’ll set the fireworks. Remember, it doesn’t have to be loud to make it fun. If you can’t stand fireworks, there are ways to reduce the stress. If the fireworks are a scheduled event, know the time they start and end. Use earplugs or background sounds or music to reduce the intensity of the noise. Be with loved ones who will support and help distract you. Don’t be shy! You can kindly talk with your fireworks-happy neighbors in advance.