As a community, La Farge has a long and proud history of hosting an Independence Day Celebration. Beginning with the traditional croquet tournaments played on Dred Bean’s front lawn (Now Bean Park) or the concert at the Main Street Bandstand by the La Farge Cornet Band, La Farge has been the “Go To” place to celebrate the Fourth of July. The tradition continues in 2018 as popular events return for this year’s Fourth of July Celebration.
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As in years past, Old Highway 131 that runs through the Kickapoo Valley Reserve will be open to traffic from noon-4 p.m. on the Fourth of July. This popular attraction draws several hundred vehicles each Independence Day as folks share memories of the old days. Many stop at the Star Valley Memorial to view the history presented there. To get to Old Highway 131, turn onto Seeleyburg Road just past the ballpark in La Farge and follow the signs to the old road. Traffic only is allowed to move from south to north along the old river road and a speed limit will be posted for safety purposes. There will be signs placed along the old highway showing the names of the former owners of the farms and homes who lived there before the dam project.
This year, drivers will be able to drive all the way to Rockton on the old river road. Last year, because of the restoration work being done on Bridge No. 13, the old road was closed to traffic on the part north of County Hwy P. That northern section will be open this year and also will include a first look for many of the new covered bridge, constructed by the Ho-Chunk Nation that is located just north of Indian Creek Road.
After the drive on the old highway, stop into the KVR Visitor Center to enjoy some refreshments provided by the Friends of the Reserve. There will also be a virtual tour of the former properties available for viewing, featuring photos from the Corps of Engineers files.
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Playing ballgames in La Farge on the Fourth of July is another time-honored tradition. Baseball games on the Fourth of July were first played in Dred Bean’s lower hayfield (now the Field of Dreams), then were moved to the baseball field located below town next to the river. In the late 1930s, Calhoon Park was constructed next to the school and ever since ball games have been played there. That tradition continues, as games will be played at the iconic ballpark throughout the day and evening.
Starting at noon on the Fourth of July, La Farge and area youngsters will be playing baseball and softball games on the hour until six in the evening. It is always a special treat for the youngsters to play ballgames at Calhoon Park on the Fourth. In the evening the players get older, but they also enjoy the tradition. The popular “Legends vs. Icons” baseball game will begin at 7 p.m. on the baseball diamond as the “old-timers” trot out their legendary and iconic skills for all to view.