In traditional 4th of July celebrations taking place in small towns across Wisconsin Wednesday, it was a time for both the solemn and the silly.
In the shady Token Creek graveyard dotted with the graves of civil war soldiers, members of American Legion Post 333 honored the fallen with a gun salute and taps.
82-year-old retired school teacher Vi Bergum dressed as Betsy Ross in red, white and blue, and held an American flag in her hand as she admonished a small crowd to honor the country's birth: “Let's pledge to live together in peace and harmony and respect and love our dear country. God bless America, and God bless each and everyone of you and may Old Glory continue to wave high over a free America!”
With the solemnity over, it was time for the silliness to begin.
On the town's main street — lined with flags, folding chairs and coolers filled with beer — the 30th annual “Hiney Race” was about to begin. With their backs to the starting line, children waited for the starting flag on the 100 yard backwards race.
Some backwards running records were broken Wednesday, but the record that everyone was most aware of was the temperature for the day in Windsor, last set in 1949 at a sizzling 98. At the time the Hiney races were run it was a much hotter 102 degrees.