Oshkosh celebrates July 4th with food, fireworks and thoughts of freedom

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — At Menominee Park on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, locals gathered for a day of fun, food trucks and fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July. With a presidential election and the Republican National Convention looming, the atmosphere was both festive and reflective.

  • Locals gather at Menominee Park in Oshkosh on July 4th for a day of fun, food trucks and fireworks
  • Participants share their thoughts on patriotism and politics at this crucial time
  • Some locals expressed concern about the unrest in our government, others expressed gratitude for their freedom

(The following is a transcript of the entire broadcast.)

We spoke to several participants to hear their thoughts on patriotism and politics during this crucial time.

Heather Creapo said, “I’m just going with the flow. And that’s all you can do right now.”

As the crowd settles in for another year of barbecues and fireworks, Jacob Soyk says, “I just come here, watch the fireworks and go home. I do the same thing every year.”

This year, however, feels different for many. Michael Hansen commented: “The government has its ups and downs.”

From nearby Neenah, Richard Olson expressed his concern. “It’s a real shame to me to see this divide that we have, and it never seems to go away. I mean, it just seems to get more divided as time goes on.”

We also spoke to Barbara Krueger, who says our country needs a change. “I think we just need a change, a big change. I don’t know what it is. And if I did, I would run for president.”

For Christina Johnson, the focus is on the meaning of the day. “I just want people to remember the reason for today, why we’re celebrating. I don’t think many people manage to do that.”

For Maria Delgado-Escamilla and her family, Independence Day is a celebration of their freedom. “Since we are immigrants, we also celebrate July 4th because that means freedom,” said Maria.

Maria and her family immigrated from Mexico to escape the insecurity of their homeland, she says, and now enjoy the freedom they have found in America. “You see a lot of people from other countries who have come here, and we just feel free, feel independent,” she says.

This Fourth of July, Maria and her family say they are not worried about political unrest. They are simply grateful to be free. “We are grateful to be here,” Maria added. “Thank you America.”

There is a lot to do in Oshkosh on the 4th of July. The Menominee Park Zoo is open until 6 p.m., 19 food trucks are open until 10 p.m. and of course the fireworks start at 9:45 p.m. in Menominee Park.