BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- We continue our "Share Your Backyard Tour" by visiting Gary Larson's 4th of July neighborhood celebration in Bloomington. The annual 107th Street 4th of July Celebration started 36 years ago when someone suggested a neighborhood 4th of July celebration for those neighbors that did not have plans. The party was such a hit it has continued ever since.
The Larson's street is one block long, and almost everyone who lives on the block has lived there for over 40 years. This neighborhood blends so well together, they have created an entire neighborhood "family". You don't need a neighborhood invitation to attend the party; it is just assumed it is taking place and the only detail to find out is who is hosting it.
Neighbor Jack initially organized the celebration games and has continued to do so over the years. Traditional games that take place every year are the balloon toss, bean bag golf tournament around the neighborhood, horse racing, and the horse shoe tournament. Gary Larson displays the horse shoe tournament brackets from over 25 years ago for anyone who is interested in seeing them. There has even been an obstacle course; children and adults over 50 have crawled under benches, through hoops and teamed up in water fights. Neighbors offer a potluck lunch, but the seasoned pulled turkey is always a hit.
The children that once lived in the neighborhood are now married and have children. The neighborhood gets together to throw bridal and baby showers so neighbors are able to share in the excitement with one another. When new neighbors move in, they can't believe how close everyone on the block is and how quickly they are welcomed into this neighborhood family. Almost everyone in the 107th Street neighborhood is retired, but their children and grandchildren still come back every year for neighborhood celebrations.
Since there will not be a "Share Your Backyard" weather cast next Wednesday, July 4th, Gary and his neighborhood put together replica of the party they will be hosting next Wednesday.
(Copyright 2012 KARE. All rights reserved.)