SPARTA, NJ – The Fourth of July was day packed with patriotic events for Sparta.  It began with a parade, moved to the lake for the Ski Hawks show and ended with the bang of fireworks.

Fire trucks from all over the county, the Sparta High School Marching Band, scout groups, township organization and clubs, old tractors and cars crawled along the parade route lined the parade route down East Shore Trail, through the packed White Deer Plaza and up Mohawk Avenue to cheers and flag waving.  Children sat on curbs, diving to get candy thrown from the parade participants.

The Sparta Elks sponsored the parade, awarding trophies in several categories.

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  • Best Community Organization –
  1. 1 Step Closer Animal Rescue
  2. Sparta Historical Society
  • Best Parade Float – Lake Mohawk Ski Hawks
  • Best Color Guard – Ogdensburg Fire Department
  • Best Marching Unit – Andover Fire Department
  • Best Appearing Unit –
  1. New Jersey Antique Tractors
  2. Jim’s Classic Cars
  • Best Fire Department –
  1. Andover Fire Department
  2. Ogdensburg Fire Department
  • Best First Aid Squad –
  1. Sparta Ambulance Squad
  2. Lakeland Emergency Squad
  • Best Banner Carrier – Andover Fire Department
  • Best Elks Lodge Appearance – Sussex Elks Lodge #2288
  • Best Youth Group – Lake Mohawk Ski Hawks
  • Best Musical Organization – Sparta High School Marching Band
  • Best Overall in Parade – Andover Fire Department.

Hundreds moved from the parade to the board walk and beach one to take in the Ski Hawks performance.  They were not disappointed.  The trick skiers of all ages performed in unison, created pyramids, skied barefoot and did stunts off the jump.

Later in the evening people all over town settled in to their favorite fireworks viewing spots; in backyards around the lake, on the boardwalk and beaches, on blankets at Mohawk Avenue School and any other spot that had a view of the sky over the lake.

With minutes to go before the anticipated first crack of fireworks, the sky opened up and rain came down instead.  The show was delayed due to “electronic issues,” according to Sparta police.  Many did not stick around to find out if there would be a show.  Around 9:45 p.m. the show sponsored by the Lake Mohawk Country Club finally went on.