Although the Fourth of July is not until next weekend, a breathtaking firework show will take over the skies of Hilmar tomorrow evening.
The reason for the celebration is the Hilmar Chamber’s Dairy and Farm Festival, which is an annual festival that brings an estimated 2,000 community members together to celebrate the farming tradition.
“The reason we always pick the last weekend of June is because it is still Dairy Month and it is also the closest we can get to the Fourth of July,” said Hilmar Dairy Farm and Festival chair Stewart Schulze.
Throughout Hilmar Chamber’s Dairy and Farm Festival, guests can support local high school athletes by purchasing food from the snack bar. The festival’s menu boasts a variety of mouthwatering options, including linguica, pulled pork, and Portuguese corn dogs.
“All of the money made from meal purchases during the festival will go towards the high school sports program,” said Schulze.
Guests can browse through over 50 craft booths, make a pit stop at the San Joaquin Valley Teen Challenge car show, taste free milk from Foster Farms Crystal Creamery, enjoy free Hilmar Cheese Company cheese samples, and participate in a butter-making activity also provided by Hilmar Cheese.
Kids will also get their chance to enjoy a kids zone, which includes a petting zoo sponsored by Pizza Plus from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and a water bounce houses sponsored by Walgreens from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Special events will take place at the Hilmar Lumber main stage, including an animal call contest at 6 p.m. and Hilmar Heath Center’s Little Milkman and Little Milkmaid competition at 7 p.m.
During the Little Milkman and Little Milkmaid competition, ten contestants between the ages of three and six years old will vie for the title of Little Milkman or Little Milkmaid, meaning that they will represent the Hilmar community at a number of events, including Hilmar’s homecoming parade.
“The kids will do a little song or dance, or any other talent, and answer fun questions from a panel of adults,” said Schulze. “We give out a lot of different prizes. It’s a fun event.”
Schulze reports that this year’s festival will also have a memorial for lifelong Hilmar resident Pete Stravrianoudakis, who passed away earlier this year.
“He was very involved with tractors throughout the community, so we’re doing a farm equipment show with a bunch of old and new tractors,” said Schulze.
Prior to the end of the night, local boy scouts will perform a flag retirement ceremony and guests will also have the opportunity to watch a tribute media show created by Stewart Schulze Photographic Artist. According to Schulze, the show will pay tribute to Hilmar farmers and the community that supports them.
The festival will culminate with the highly anticipated fireworks show sponsored by Hilmar Cheese and Fanelli Dairy. Liberty Security will be donating their services, which Schulze believes will especially benefit guests during the sensational fireworks show that will be sure to amaze all those whose see it.
“It is a really good opportunity to enjoy the farming community,” said Schulze. “It is very important for us to celebrate the dairy and farm industry in our community because our community is built upon them.”
Hilmar Chamber’s Dairy and Farm Festival will take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow at Hilmar High School’s football field. Admission is free.