Independence Day celebration

The Dalton Opera House will be hosting its annual Fourth of July celebration Saturday.

The Dalton Opera House will be hosting its annual Fourth of July celebration on Independence Day with an outdoor sing-a-long on Summit Street in front of the red-topped event center.

Joan Wasberg, a former Fergus Falls music instructor, will lead the patriotic sing-a-long with Judy Hoffbeck on the keys.

“They don’t come any better,” said Dalton Opera House owner Greg Peterson.

While some Scandinavian undertones have to be expected in the singing, Peterson is expecting hundreds to show up for the event, which begins at 10 a.m.

The outdoor event will require guests to bring their own lawn chairs.

“Music will be coming from the deck,” Peterson said.

In addition to filling the morning air with song the crowd will be served free ice cream, pop and water.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Peterson said. “People say it should be on national television. People are moved to tears.”

COVID-19 had Peterson and his fellow organizers stymied until recently,

“We weren’t sure we were even going to have it until a couple weeks ago,” Peterson said.

In addition to Saturday’s celebration, Peterson is planning to take the crowd back in time exactly 150 years.

July Fourth will mark the anniversary of a picnic held in 1870 in the unplatted settlement of Tordenskjold, which at the time was recognized by the Minnesota Legislature as the seat of Otter Tail County. The picnic was held on the banks of the Pleasant River, which today is known as the Pomme de Terre.

The sawmill which marked the settlement stood on a farm owned by Helmer Hoff, who ran the sawmill along with his brother, Ole. The farm is now owned by Harlan Lien and is 3 miles northeast of Dalton.

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