The small southeast Missouri town of Bismarck is celebrating its 150th anniversary during the Fourth of July, with its Freedom Fest parade.

The Bismarck Freedom Fest parade is on the Fourth of July (image courtesy of Bismarck Freedom Fest Facebook page)

Bismarck Fire Chief John Colwell says it’s a patriotic town.

“Well Bismarck is just a small country town,” Colwell says. “We don’t have really a lot of anything, we just have a lot of good people and good, hard workers. It started off as a railroad town.”

The city is also celebrating the 100th anniversary of its depot, along the old Iron Mountain Railway.

Bismarck leaders unsuccessfully tried to get an Amtrak stop there a few years ago, but Amtrak chose neighboring Arcadia instead.

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, who represents 30 southern Missouri counties, will be the grand marshal at this morning’s Freedom Fest parade.

Chief Colwell says the parade begins at 10 and will include about 50 units.

“Well the parade it consists of several local entities of our churches, our school groups as well as different politicians and businesses that are out there advertising,” says Colwell.

Colwell says the parade will also include “one of the biggest showings of local emergency responders,” such as fire trucks, police vehicles and ambulances.

Antique farm tractors and vehicles will also be featured in the parade.

Bismarck, which has about 1,500 residents, is west of Farmington.

They’ll also have live music and carnival rides today, and the 150th anniversary celebration will conclude with tonight’s 9 o’clock fireworks display.

Residents from across southeast Missouri are expected to celebrate the 4th in Bismarck.

Residents also gathered last night to open a time capsule that was buried 50 years ago.

Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Bismarck Fire Chief John Colwell, which was recorded on July 3, 2018:

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