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MURDOCK – Cass County residents converged on Murdock this past week to celebrate the birthday of the United States of America.

Hundreds of people enjoyed festivities at the annual Murdock Fourth of July Celebration on Thursday. The day featured a full slate of activities that ran from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It marked the 29th year for the community-wide event on Independence Day.

The 2019 festival included the Dillon Synovec Memorial Run/Walk, a petting zoo, children’s games, Lions Club lunch, four-man tractor pull, face-painting fund-raiser, parade, watermelon social, pie and ice cream social, ballgames, fireworks and tours of the Murdock Museum and one-room schoolhouse.

The parade was one of the highlights of the day. The event began at 11 a.m. and lasted one hour in downtown Murdock. People lined both sides of Nebraska Street for several blocks along the parade route.

Bruce Stock was the public address announcer during the parade. He provided information on each entry for the audience. He also said Elmwood-Murdock Merchants Association members and parade organizers were pleased with the day’s turnout.

“We appreciate everyone coming out,” Stock told the crowd. “It means a great deal.”

Charlie and Evelyn Schafer were honored as grand marshals of the parade. They have lived in Cass County for many decades and have been involved in a wide range of community activities.

Murdock Museum representative Dale Vanderford Jr. honored Charlie Schafer with a certificate of appreciation during the parade. Schafer was a founding member of the Murdock Historical Society in 1993 and has served on the board of directors for many years. He helped establish the Murdock Museum and has spent hundreds of hours helping to protect and preserve historical items from the town.

“We appreciate everything Charlie has done for our community,” Vanderford said.

Two Class of 2019 graduates were honored as Miss Elmwood and Miss Murdock during the parade. Sydney Kunz received Miss Elmwood recognition and Morgan Mills received the title of Miss Murdock.

Kunz is the daughter of Ken and Chris Kunz. She graduated from Elmwood-Murdock High School this past spring and was salutatorian of her class. She collected multiple honors at local, conference and state levels for her work in the classroom.

Kunz also participated in many extracurricular activities. She was involved in volleyball, basketball, track and field, journalism, Future Business Leaders of America, Student Council and Science Club.

Mills is the daughter of Don and Diane Mills. She graduated from Elmwood-Murdock High School this past spring and earned multiple academic awards. She participated in golf, basketball, track and field, journalism, speech and Future Business Leaders of America at E-M.

Mills served as the Nebraska FBLA State Secretary during her senior year. She planned and presented information at workshops, spoke at area chapter meetings and traveled to conferences across the country in her role.

Elmwood-Murdock student Chloe Hosier was recognized as the Cornhusker Girls State representative for the local area. Hosier will be a senior at E-M this fall. She has been involved in volleyball, track and field, choir, band, one-act play, Future Business Leaders of America and Fellowship of Christian Athletes in school. She was selected for Girls State because of her positive character and academic credentials.

Elmwood-Murdock cheerleaders presented both dance and pom routines at several spots along the parade route. Elmwood-Murdock Little League baseball and softball players, representatives of local businesses and members of several community organizations also appeared in the parade.

The parade ended with a long line of trucks featuring local fire and rescue crews. Volunteers from Murdock, Elmwood, Weeping Water, Manley and Louisville took part in the event.

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