by Ellen Rossow
Despite recent concerns a community tradition may be coming to an end, MSUM’s Fourth of July celebration will be sticking around.
While it may be tough to think of summer events in the midst of F-M’s dreary winter weather, MSUM’s annual Fourth of July event has been fresh in the headlines.
When MSUM President Anne Blackhurst announced Jan. 11 that MSUM was no longer able to put on the event, the Moorhead Business Association took on the project and began raising $40,000 to keep the tradition alive.
“I think it is a very important tradition to have in Moorhead,” MBA Executive Director David Hunstad said, adding he was “very confident” the money would be raised.
“We have a number of businesses that have contributed,” he said.
While the event’s funding is no longer MSUM’s responsibility, Blackhurst said the university still wants to be involved.
“We have made it clear that we are very willing to be a participant in continuing the event if another organization or entity assumes responsibility for planning, organizing and funding it,” she said.
The MBA is willing to do those things exactly.
“We are going to formulate a committee that will be MBA members and volunteers from the community to help staff it,” Hunstad said.
The MBA also said they would be willing to hire any MSUM staff to help make the event run more smoothly.
Hunstad believes having the event on campus will be a benefit to the community.
“MSUM is right in the middle of Moorhead and is integral to our community,’ he said. “I think one thing MSUM and the buisness association are trying to do is strengthen the relationship between the business community and the students. If MSUM can host this big party, and the business community can pay for it, I think it’s a win win.”
Hunstad is excited to combine the MBA’s “Moorhead Proud 56560” slogan with MSUM’s “DragonPride.” Hunstad said having the event at MSUM offers the opportunity to showcase the university, too.
“(It’s) a great opportunity for the community to maybe walk the grounds of the campus and feel a sense of pride in that MSUM is right here in our midst,” he said.
Hunstad said the MBA’s involvement can potentially turn the celebration into an “old-fashioned community picnic.”
“This is a great opportunity to celebrate our commitment to each other,” he said. “What we are hoping to do is expand our footprint from just being a fireworks show at 11 at night to celebrating on campus throughout the day, and then fireworks.”
The MBA has created a GoFundMe account, not necessarily for this year’s event, but to keep the tradition going into the future.
Those who want to volunteer can email Hunstad at firstname.lastname@example.org.