While many communities will celebrate this Independence Day with traditional fireworks, it’ll sound more like a war in the western Iowa community of Elk Horn. Mike Howard restores vintage World War Two and Korean War-era military vehicles at his shop — Liberty Auto Restoration — in Elk Horn.
Howard says their "fireworks" will be actually be a combat-style "night fire" featuring blanks fired from an M-5-A-1 WWII Tank, three-sets of 30-caliber machine guns, and a 37-millimeter cannon. The rapid-fire action will begin at around 9:45-p.m. It’s all part of an exhibit at the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn. Howard says his love of history sparked the desire to bring new life to some very old war machines.
In addition to some vehicles restored by Howard, the 14-th Armored Division from Kentucky will bring some of their war relics to the museum for the holiday. Among them is the 1943 Stuart tank that will be participating in tonight’s show.
The tank has been fully restored and will have a standard complement of four crew members. Also on display is a World War Two M-3-A-1 Scout car, several WWII and Korean War Jeeps, and a WWII "Weasel." The vintage metal will be on display at the museum from two-until five-p.m. Howard says visitors will have a chance to ride in the "Weasel" and check-out the inside of the tank.
There is no charge to attend the festivities, and admission to the museum — which is open from Noon until five p.m. — is also free, today only.