Thunder, bright display mark event

NEW ULM – The grounds of the Hermann Monument was bustling the sounds of cannon fire, fireworks and live music throughout the day on Saturday during the Double Anniversary Celebration event at Hermann Heights park. The event celebrated both the 125th anniversary of the Hermann Monument Cornerstone and the 150th anniversary of the New Ulm Battery.

The New Ulm Battery spent the majority of the day firing off continuous volleys of cannon fire. The event was part its fundraiser for the Double Anniversary, which revolved around allowing people that donate $100 to fire a cannon by pulling the cord on the firing pin. The Hermann Monument grounds ended up in light fog by late afternoon due to the sheer volume of gunpowder smoke drifting over the area. People from all walks of life took a turn at blasting a cannon, including an elderly lady and an engaged couple that was getting married later that day.

At noon, New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman read off ten letters from other communities and organization recognizing New Ulm for its accomplishments. Following that, local historian Denny Warta presented the New Ulm Battery with a metal silhouette of a Civil War soldier, which was a replica of the silhouette at the Minnesota monument at the Gettysburg battlefield site. The New Ulm Battery was also presented a flag with 35 stars, representing the number of states in the Union at the start of the Civil War.The silhouette and the flag will be housed with in New Ulm Battery display at City Hall.

Finally, Aline Anliker, the Executive Director of the Minnesota chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, said the she was impressed with the milestone reached for the Hermann Monument and New Ulm. She said the event taught her that you can often learn more about home when you leave it, pointing out that she had never previously known about the story of Hermann.

Later in the day, an official re-dedication ceremony was held for the Hermann Monument cornerstone. Then, Udo Huefner, the Grand Leader of the Order of the Sons of Hermann in the California chapter, presented the Brown County Historical Society with a box containing an old sash for women officers in the Sons of Hermann and a Sons of Hermann gavel from1879. He said the gavel was selected because it was closest item in age they had to founding of the Hermann Monument.

Throughout the day, visitors were able to enjoy a variety of live polka bands at Hermann Heights and more modern bands when the events were moved downhill to Harman Park. The visitors were also able to enjoy a variety of food items such as brats, sauerkraut, German potato salad and refreshments.

The event concluded at the lower Harman Park with the New Ulm Battery accompanying orchestra music for the performance of the 1812 Overture and a large-scale fireworks display fired from Hermann Heights.

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Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at

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