As a resident of Harmony, the excitement is building for all of us who live and work in the community. The Fourth of July celebration is just around the corner. Then, a week later, we get to play host to the Fillmore County Relay for Life. We are all getting excited, as well as a bit nervous, about these big events coming to our community.

The Fourth of July is always such a fabulous event for our community and many from the surrounding area come to enjoy the parade, music in the park, children's games and so much more. I usually try to make it to everything, at least for a little while, so I can grab a photo or two for the newspaper.

I joke that I haven't had a Fourth of July off for 20 years, but in reality, attending a community celebration isn't really work either.

My favorite events in Harmony include the toad races at the Village Depot; the parade, of course; and the music in the park.

This year, the chamber of commerce has organized an old-fashioned kiddie carnival, which will be held Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in which there will be free carnival games and popcorn for kids. My niece and nephew will be here, so I plan on taking them to the park to keep them entertained for at least that long!

I'll be spending Saturday morning, July 5, registering runners for the Harmony Hustle at the visitors center. The 10K, 5K and 1K children's challenge help raise funds for Habitat for Humanity projects in Harmony and throughout Fillmore County. This is our fifth year and we hope it is our biggest year yet. If you are interested, there is an ad on page five of this issue and a press release on page seven. Please join us for a delightful morning for a fun walk/run. It truly is a family event.

On Friday, July 11, the Fillmore County Relay for Life will be held at the Harmony Community Center for the second year. Last year's event was not only inspirational, but so much fun. We do take time in the program to remember those we've lost, but the Relay's main focus is celebrating those who are surviving the disease and for fighting back - raising money for cancer research and support services.

As a committee member and as someone who has lost loved ones and friends to this disease, I encourage everyone to participate in this important fundraiser in some way or another. Sponsor a team, buy some luminaries in memory of a loved one or in honor of someone currently fighting cancer or come to the event on July 11 and eat supper with the community, bid on silent auction items or simply come and enjoy the music and speakers.

I promise you, you will feel uplifted when you leave.

My family and I are in charge of the Balloons to Heaven program. Individuals are able to purchase helium-filled balloons to write messages to their loved ones in heaven. After a brief program, which includes a performance by my niece, Allison, we all let go of the balloons together. It is an awesome sight.

There's going to be some fun things going on in Harmony over the next few weeks. I hope I see you at one or all of them!