History

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The Richfield 4th of July Celebration was an idea of Council Member Howard Bunce during his campaign for election in 1979.

"What Bunce envisioned was a day-long festival to increase community spirit and show that people are concerned about Richfield and want to enjoy it." Taken from an article written by Bob Ball on Wednesday, July 2, 1980, for the Sun Newspaper.

The first year's celebration in 1980 included a Fun Run & Walk and a parade with Olympian Steve Christoff as Grand Marshal. The parade started in the ice arena parking lot, traveled on 66th west to Nicollet Ave and then south to Augsburg Park for an afternoon of entertainment. The evening entertainment was highlighted by Steve Wright's Big Band and concluded with the first annual fireworks display ($2,500) at Legion Lake (currently Veteran's Memorial Park).

The 1982 celebration included the first Miss Richfield competition with Debbie Klopp as Miss Richfield! The City Council established guidelines for the Fourth of July Celebration committee.  In 1983, the fireworks display increased to $5,000 and was administered by American Fireworks Display Co.  In 1984, the Richfield Fourth of July committee becomes an incorporated and non-profit organization.  1986 includes Ned Kantar's Big Band featuring soloist Jim Mitchell. Jim Mitchell's performance has been one of the true memories of the celebration.  The 1987 celebration included changing the parade route to begin at 70th St and Nicollet Ave, traveling north to 66th St and then east to Legion Lake Park. The fireworks display increased to $8,900. Legion Lake Park was renamed Veteran's Memorial Park.

The 10th annual celebration in 1989 was the first year that included a carnival and a five-day celebration. Serie Fun Shows was the vendor and this was the first year of a five-figure fireworks display ($10,000.00).  1990 saw the parade route change from Nicollet Ave to Lyndale Ave with the thought that it would now include passing by Richfield Bank and Trust, the Hub Center, etc., which is kind of the "downtown" area of Richfield.  In 1991, morning rain showers gave way to the sun and a great parade to kick off the day's activities.  In 1993, the carnival was unfortunately canceled from the celebration.  1995 brought the Minnesota Orchestra to the Richfield celebration. This was sponsored by NW Bank of Minnesota.  1999 saw the former VFW 5555 Street Dance being turned over to the Fourth of July Committee and operated at Veteran's Memorial Park on July 3rd. Proceeds helped pay for the overall 4th of July celebration.  On Sunday, July 4th, 2004, Richfield celebrated the 25th Annual Fourth of July Celebration. Howard's vision had truly become a reality.

In 2008, the City of Richfield celebrated its 100th birthday. The Fourth of July Committee followed in this celebration by also using the theme "From Farm to Future".   The parade route was changed this year due to construction on 66th Street. It started on Nicollet as usual and instead of turning east on 66th, it turned east on 70th. Unique to this year's celebration was the unveiling of the Veteran's Memorial at Veteran's Park. For the first time, 3 equal ambassadors and two equal junior ambassador were crowned.

In 2009, Richfield celebrated the 30th annual Richfield Hometown 4th of July Celebration.  In honor of Howard Bunce and his vision, his image was placed on the this year's button. New to this celebration was a discount card that came with each button.  This entitled the button owner to amazing discounts as local businesses.  The theme was Red, White, and Bike to encourage the city to go green and ride their bikes more. A new event called Battle of the Bands was added as part of Family Night.  Thousands of people from all over came to cheer on bands as they competed.  The winner was Uncle Grady's House of Sound.  This was also the year of the infamous downpour - just after the parade and thankfully it ended before the fireworks.  It was a good year.

 
31St Anniversary of Richfield 4th of July "Under the Big Top"

2010 Grand Marshalls: Richfield's own Sunshine & O'Neil Hampton from NBC's The Biggest Loser

Committee: Melissa Barns,  Chara Blanch, Deb Heinecke, Rick Jabs, Jodi Olson, Stacie Karkhoff, Jason Knutson, Rob Lengleng, Thuy Nguyen-Tran, Katie Robison , Tom Rublein, Andrew Seffrood, Lin Shurtleff and Rob Shurtleff

City Liaisons: Lt. Mike Koob, Jim Topitzhofer, Kelly Mertes and Frank White 

Fireworks: Melrose Pyrotechnics North = $15,000

Richfield Ambassadors: Baza Haille-Selasse, Mara LeBlanc and Virginia Sanchez

Junior Ambassadors: ShayLee Bartelle and Erin Jones

Carnival: MN Magic Midway

Street Dance Entertainment: "Ace" Barton and the Richfield All Stars Band

Total Income: $89,870.08
Total Expense: $100,123.24


30th Anniversary of Richfield 4th of July "Red, White & Bike"

2009 Grand Marshalls: Erik the "Bike Man" & Penn Cycle

Committee: Melissa Barns,  Ashley Gibbs, Deb Heinecke, Rick Jabs, Jodi Olson, Thuy Nguyen-Tran, Nancy Randolph, Pat Rickert, Katie Robison, Tom Rublein, Andrew Seffrood, Lin Shurtleff and Rob Shurtleff

City Liaisons: Lt. Mike Koob, Jim Topitzhofer, Kelly Mertes and Frank White 

Fireworks: Melrose Pyrotechnics North = $15,000

Richfield Ambassadors: Maria Carrillo, Katelin Freeman and Emily Schnacky

Junior Ambassadors: Josephine Carson and Mindy Bolar

Carnival: MN Magic Midway

Battle of the Bands Winner: Uncle Grady's House of Sound

Street Dance Entertainment: The Underachievers

Total Income: $96,788.96
Total Expense: $94,753.91

 
 100th Anniversary of Richfield "From Farm to Future"

2008 Grand Marshalls: Marion Maxon, Mary Bartholomew and Marion Amundson (decedents of the first settlers of Richfield)

Committee: Melissa Barns,  Ruthie George, Deb Heinecke, Rick Jabs, Veronica Noess, Daniel  Randolph, Nancy Randolph,  Richard Rhodes, Pat Rickert, Tom Rublein, Lin Shurtleff and Rob Shurtleff, 

City Liaisons:  Lt. Mike Koob, Jim Topitzhofer, Kelly Mertes and Frank White 

Fireworks: Melrose Pyrotechnics North = $20,000

Richfield Ambassadors: Sara Flynn, Anna Case and Bounkeana Chun

Junior Ambassadors: Kate Dysart and Francia Figerioa

Carnival: MN Magic Midway

Special Event: Veteran’s Memorial Unveiling

Street Dance Entertainment: Jonah & The Whales 

Total Income: $95,390.91
Total Expense: $117,922.84

2007 Grand Marshall: RBCU

Committee: Bob Houlton, Melissa Barns, Bill Bullock, Ruthie George, Deb Heinecke, Rick Jabs, Veronica Noess, Dan Randolph, Nancy Randolph, Richard Rhodes, Pat Rickert, Tom Rublein, Maureen Scaglia, Bill Snyder and Lenny Swanson

City Liaisons: Lt. Mike Koob, Jim Topitzhofer, Kelly Mertes and Frank White

Fireworks: Melrose Pyrotechnics North = $15,000

Miss Richfield: Ashley Gibbs

Richfield Princesses: Rachel Pytlak and Betsy Linehan-Skillings

Little Miss Richfield: Alyssa Harms

2006 Grand Marshalls: Best Buy Volunteers

Committee:  Bob Houlton & Tom Rublein, Maureen Scaglia, Pat Rickert, Patricia Rickert, Tony Walske, Bill Bullock, Jodi Flanery-Olson, Bob Olson, Ruthie George and Bill Snyder 

City Liaisons: Jim Topitzhofer, Kelly Mertes and Frank White

Fireworks: Melrose Pyrotechnics North = $15,000

Miss Richfield: Thuy Nguyen-Tran

Richfield Princesses: Cara Gorman and Caitlin Gerdes

Little Miss Richfield: Julia Wensahu

 
2005 Grand Marshall: Richfield Chamber Of Commerce


Committee: Bob Holton, Tom Rublein, Maureen Scaglia, Jim Fleming, Pat & Patricia Rickert,  Bill Snyder, Jennifer Swenson, Tony Walske, Bill Bullock, Jodi Flanery-Olson, Bob Olson, Ruthie George and Chris Friend

City Liaisons: Jim Topitzhofer and Frank White

Fireworks = $15,000

 
2004 Grand Marshalls: Past 4th of July Presidents

Committee: Pat Rickert, John Hamilton, Tom Rublein,  Maureen Scaglia, Jim Fleming, Doris Rubenstein, Patricia Rickert, Paul Black, Bill Snyder, Cece Flanery, Jennifer Swenson, Tony Walske, Bill Bullock, Jodi Flanery-Olson and Chris Friend

City Liaisons: Mike Pafaolis and Frank White

Fireworks = $18,000

Miss Richfield: Lindsay Waldron

 Richfield Princesses: Melissa Sack and Phuong Tran

Little Miss Richfield: Michelle Murphy

2003

Committee: Pat Rickert, Tom Rublein, John Hamilton, Maureen Scaglia, Jim Fleming, Doris Rubenstein, Patricia Rickert, Paul Black, Bill Snyder, Cece Flanery and Jennifer Swenson 

City Liaisons: Tony Walske and Frank White

Fireworks: $15,000

Miss Richfield: Kari Metz

 Richfield Princesses: Arianna Kerber and Hanah Tesfye

 
2002 Grand Marshalls: Richfield Police & Fire Fighters

Committee:  Pat Rickert, Tom Rublein, John Hamilton, Tom Scaglia, Jim Fleming, Doris Rubenstein, Patricia Rickert, Paul Black, Bill Snyder, Cece Flanery, Jennifer Swenson and John Bjostad

City Liaison: Frank White

Fireworks = $15,000

Miss Richfield: Lizzie Neisen

Richfield Princesses: Amber Gregg and Channa James

 
2001 Grand Marshalls: Youth of Richfield


Committee: John Bjostad, Jim Fleming, Tom Rublein, Pat & Patricia Rickert, Bill Snyder, John Hamilton, Debbie Leslie, Paul Black, Doris Rubenstein, CeCe Flanery, Patti Sterbuck and Jodi Flanery

City Liaisons: Kevin Lehman and Frank White

Fireworks = $15,000

Richfield Princesses: Melissa Olson and Erin Hankins

Little Miss Richfield: Michele Heinecke

2000 Grand Marshall: Jean Peterson

Committee: John Bjostad, Chair, Paul Black, Howard Bunce, Jim Fleming, Cece Flanery, Gary & Nancy Groen, Nancy Kilpeck,  Debbie Leslie, Diane Rappe, Pat & Patricia Rickert, Doris Rubenstein, Tom Rublein, Aaron Rublein, Bill Snyder, Jenn Tome and Tom Winn

City Liaisons:  Kevin Lehman and Frank White

Fireworks = $12,000

 
1999 Grand Marshall: Howard Bunce (Former City Council Member & Originator of the Richfield Hometown 4th of July)

Committee:  Cathy Sulla, Howard Bunce, Cece Flanery, John Bjostad, Tom Rublein, Debbie Leslie,  Jim Fleming, Paul Black, Tom Winn and Nancy Kilpeck

City Liaisons: Toy Vixavon and Frank White

Fireworks = $12,000

Miss Richfield: Jennifer Swenson

Richfield Princesses: Stephanie Elliott and Liesel Larson

1998 Grand Marshall: Norman Grant (Local resident and WWII Veteran)

Committee: Cathy Sulla, John Bjostad, Gary Groen, Paul Black, Cece Flanery, Nancy Kilpeck, Howard Bunce, Tom Winn, Susan Carlson-Lampe and Jennifer Eidsmo

City Liaisons: Tom Fitzhenry and Frank White

Fireworks = $12,000

Miss Richfield: Elizabeth Heimerl

Richfield Princesses: Victoria Czupryna and Odessa Simms

1997 Grand Marshall: Orville Freeman (Former Governor or Minnesota and Secretary of Agriculture)

Committee: Gary Groen, Chair, Tom Scaglia, Cathy Sulla, Nancy Kilpeck, John Bjostad, Mitch Hadley, Judy Hadley, Tom Winn, Paul Black, Joe Carlson, Bob Houlton and Howard Bunce

City Liaisons: Tom Fitzhenry and Frank White

Fireworks = $12,000

Miss Richfield: Stacey Waldron

Richfield Princesses: Amy Peterson and Jennifer Boese

1996 Grand Marshall: McKinley Boston (Vice President for Student Development & Athletics)

Committee: Gary Groen, Chair, Jan Kispert, Howard Bunce, Jane Myre, Tom Scaglia, Bob Houlton, Joe Carlson, Mitch & Judy Hadley, Tom Winn, Paul Black, Nancy Kilpeck, Bob O’Brien, Steve Lindgren and Cathy Sulla 

City Liaisons: Tom Fitzhenry and Frank White

Fireworks = $11,000

Miss Richfield: Jodi Flanery

Richfield Princesses: Allison Wiste and Jamie Patterson

1995 Grand Marshalls: Lowell Larson and Dick Maas (Retiring School Superintendent & H. S. Principal)

Committee: Gary Groen, Chair, Jan Kispert, Tom Scaglia, Jane Myre, Howard Bunce, Bob Houlton, Joe Carlson, Julie Weisbrod, Bill Holman, Mitchell Hadley, Judy Hadley, Tom Winn, Nancy Kilpeck and Warren Olson 

City Liaisons: Tom Fitzhenry and Frank White 

Fireworks = $11,000

Miss Richfield: Jennifer Reher

Richfield Princess: Heather Eidsmo

1994 Grand Marshall: Bill Kirchner

Committee: Gary Groen, Chair, Joanne Wilmes, Jane Myre, Jan Kispert, Tom Scaglia, Bob Houlton, Howard Bunce, Joe Carlson, Julie Weisbrod, Bill Holman and Jane Dusek

City Liaisons: Tom Fitzhenry and Frank White

Fireworks = $11,000

Miss Richfield: Cali Gaibor

Richfield Princesses: Tracy Stanchfield and Casey Herbert

1993 Grand Marshall: Historical Society

Committee:  Paul Kaiser, Chair, Rodell Kopesky, Joanne Wilmes, Jan Kispert, Gary Groen, Bob Houlton, Howard Bunce, Karen Kopesky, Joe Carlson and Julie Weisbrod

City Liaisons: Tom Fitzhenry and Frank White

Fireworks = $11,000

Miss Richfield: Kara Murphy

Richfield Princesses: Andrea Lee and Brigette Myre

1992 Grand Marshall: Sherm Booen

Committee: Paul Kaiser, Chair, Howard Bunce, Rodell Kopesky, Jim Schweitzer, Gary Groen, Clare Schweitzer, Lisa Grundstrom, Bob Houlton, Joe Carlson, George Karnas, Joanne Wilmes, Sharod Tolrud and Karen Kopesky

City Liaisons: Tom Fitzhenry and Frank White

Fireworks = $11,000

Miss Richfield: Jennifer Eidsmo

1991 Grand Marshall: Charles Lindberg (Richfield resident & last living U.S. Marine who planted the American flag over Iwo Jima)

Committee: Paul Kaiser, Howard Bunce, Rodell Kopesky, Jim Schweitzer, Gary Groen, Clare Schweitzer, Lisa Grundstrom, Bob Houlton, Joe Carlson, George Karnas, Joanne Wilmes, Sharod Tolrud and Karen Kopesky

City Liaisons: Tom Fitzhenry and Frank White

Fireworks = $11,000

Miss Richfield: Karen Althen

 
1990 Grand Marshall: Michael Lynch (WCCO Radio weatherman & local resident)

Committee: Bob Houlton, Chair, Paul Kaiser, David Hook, Clare Schweitzer, Gary Groen, Jim Schweitzer, Joe Carlson, George Karnas, Karen Kopesky, Sharon Tolrud, Rodell Kopesky, Howard Bunce, Yvonne Anderson, Carole Rydell and Merv Becker

City Liaisons: Tom Fitzhenry and Frank White


Fireworks = $10,000

Miss Richfield: Cathy Sulla

1989 Grand Marshall: Cindy Hilger (WCCO news anchor & Richfield High School graduate)

Committee: Bob Houlton, Howard Bunce, Dee Fielder, Gary Groen, Joe Carlson, George Karnas, Paul Kaiser, Carol Oksness, Yvonne Anderson, Carole Memmel, Cheryl Thurber, Buster Smith, Dennis Sohlstrom and John Kenealy

City Liaisons: Jim Kunz, Steve Sutter and Frank White

Fireworks = $10,000

Miss Richfield: Elisa Holton

Richfield Princesses: Christine Hendrickson and Cindy Zubik

1988 Grand Marshall: Jennifer Tolrud (1988 Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes)

Committee: Bob Houlton, Chair, Paul Kaiser, Howard Bunce, Joanne Wilmes, Ethel Naslund, Cheryl Thurber, Paula Ekstrand, Carole Memmel, Rollie Nelson, Barb Sharpe, Yvonne Anderson, John Hamilton, George Karnas and Lora Hauser

City Liaisons: Bob Doeden and Frank White

Fireworks = $9,400

Miss Richfield: Pam Twernbold

1987 Grand Marshall: Rev. Joe Head (Liberty Bell Promoter)

Committee: Dick Swedean, Chair, Joyce Swedean, Howard Bunce, Carolyn Doeden, Rollie Nelson, Paula Ekstrand, Carole Memmel, Barb Sharpe, Ethel Naslund, Cheryl & Dan Thurber, Bob Houlton, Joanne Wilmes and Paul Kaiser

City Liaisons: Bob Doeden and Frank White

Fireworks = $8,900

Miss Richfield: Lisa Williams

1986 Grand Marshall: Franklin Hobbs (Twin City radio celebrity)

Committee: Ethel Naslund, Chair, Carolyn Doeden, Paula Ekstrand, George Evans, Bob Houlton, Paul Kaiser, Carole Memmel, Dick & Joyce Swedean, Don Thurber, Cheryl Thurber and Joanne Wilmes

City Liaisons:  Bob Doeden, Frank White and Howard Bunce

Fireworks = $5,970

Miss Richfield: Jennifer Tolrud

1985 Grand Marshall: Charles Lindberg (Richfield war veteran)

Committee: Paul Kaiser, Chair,  Sharon Kosek, Theresa Kassa, Bob Houlton, Paula Ekstrand, Ethel Naslund, Carolyn Doeden, Carole Memmel, George Evans, Ron Kassa and Joanne Wilmes

City Liaisons: Bob Doeden, Frank White and Howard Bunce

Fireworks = $5,400

Miss Richfield: Angela Sypnieski

1984 Grand Marshall: Teresa Thom (1983 Miss Richfield)

Committee: Paul Kaiser, Chair,  Ethel Naslund, Joanne Wilmes, Sharon Kosek, George Evans, Bob Houlton, Carole Memmel, Arnie Odefey, Joe Menning and Theresa Kassa

City Liaisons: Bob Doeden, Frank White and Howard Bunce

Fireworks = $5,400

Miss Richfield: Becky DeWald

 
1983

Committee: Ethel Naslund,Tim Lindgren, Joanne Wilmes, Paul Kaiser, Carol Lindgren, Ron Jelmo, George Evans, Bob Houlton, Stuart Swanson, Carole Memmel, Theresa Kassa, 

City Staff Liaisons: Bob Doeden, Frank White and Howard Bunce

Fireworks = $5,000

Miss Richfield: Teresa Thom

 
1982

Committee: Ethel Naslund, Bob Houlton, Ron Jelmo, Stuart Swanson, Joanne Wilmes, George Lais, George Evans, Carole Memmel, Tim Lindgren, Terrill Anderson, Jerry Kamprud, Doug Waller and Jim Wilcox

City Staff Liaisons: Bob Doeden, Frank White and Howard Bunce

Fireworks = $3,000

Miss Richfield: Debbie Klop

1981 Grand Marshall: Bob Lurtsema (Former Minnesota Viking Football Player)

Committee: Ethel Naslund, Bob Houlton, Ron Jelmo, Stuart Swanson, Joanne Wilmes, George Lais, George Evans, Carole Memmel, Tim Lindgren, Terrill Anderson, Jerry Kamprud, Doug Waller and Jim Wilcox

City Staff Liaisons: Bob Doeden, Frank White and Howard Bunce

Fireworks = $3,000

1980 Grand Marshall: Steve Christoff (U.S. Olympic Hockey Player/Resident)

Committee: Richard Christi, VFW, Jerry Kamprud, Optimist Club, Stuart Swanson, Ron Jelmo, Peter Heinrich, Bob Houlton, Terrill Anderson, J.C.s, Ethel Naslund, West Girls Softball, Arnold Odefey, West Girls Softball, Carole Memmel, Joanne Wilmes and Mike Freeman

City Staff Liaisons: Bob Doeden, Frank White and Howard Bunce

Fireworks  = $2,500


All Rights Reserved - Richfield 4th of July Committee, Inc., PO Box 23381, Richfield, MN 55423

(Richfield 4th of July Committee, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation)