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Cheryle Wilke, with Flying W Gardens, digs in Monday afternoon on landscaping work by the Red Bridge.

Red Bridge Park open for foot traffic only

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By Anna Erickson

Red Bridge Park work is progressing but won’t be completed by the Fourth of July.

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Flying W Gardens was working on landscaping around the old Red Bridge and around the park Monday. Landscaping includes trees, grasses, and a variety of flowering plants. Irrigation systems will be in place around the bridge.

Concrete slabs have been poured for picnic tables, benches and trash cans in the park. They are ordered but aren’t in place yet.

Grass will be planted later in the summer after construction is completed.

Construction on the parking lot and roads leading into Red Bridge Park is in progress and will be closed off for the Fourth of July.

“The contractors should have everything secured and holes filled in so it will be safe for foot traffic,” said Park Rapids City Planner Dan Walker.

He asked the public to keep an eye out and say something if they see someone messing around with anything at the park.

Red Bridge Park has typically been the location of the Park Rapids Community Band concert. That has been moved to Heartland Park due to the construction. It begins at 7:30 p.m.

Other Fourth of July events will be similar to past years.

Firecracker Foot Race

The 36th annual Firecracker Foot Race starts at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 4.

It’s best to register online at www.parkrapidsrunning.com. The race is capped at 800 people.

If the race isn’t filled online, there will be onsite registration is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 3 at Heartland Park and at 6:30 a.m. Friday, July 4. The race fee jumps to $35 the morning of the race.

The event is a 5k run/walk only.

Pickle Events will be timing. Refreshments and rewards will be available following the 5K.

Residents in the East River Drive neighborhood should plan accordingly as racers will make their way through the neighborhood between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. If possible, limit vehicle traffic in the area during this time.

The event is a fundraiser for the Park Rapids Area High School boys and girls cross-country and track teams.

Pie auction

Beagle Books & Bindery will host the 8th annual John Michael Lerma Pie Baking Contest and Auction this Fourth of July.

There is a $5 entry fee per pie. The categories are Single Crust, Double Crust, Custard/Cream and Juvenile (for bakers ages 8-12). Cash prizes given to top pies in each category, including best in show.

All pies minus one slice will be auctioned at 3:30 pm. in front of Pioneer Park on Main. Proceeds benefit the Park Rapids Area Library.

For more information contact Jennifer at Beagle Books at 237-2665.

Fourth of July parade

The parade’s theme this year is “A Hometown Celebration.”

The parade will march at 5 p.m. with the line-up beginning at 3 p.m. on Monico Lane. The procession will head south on Main to 5th Street (Bearly Used), turning west to Heritage Living Center, where it will disperse.

The parade begins with a military line-up, the American Legion Post 212 Color Guard, Marine Corps League, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans with Boy Scouts assisting.

This year’s parade grand marshals are PFC Lloyd A. Stigman, CPL Algene (Dude) Bomstad and a Chief Warrant Officer 3 Arthur Burns.

PFC Lloyd A. Stigman entered the US Army Feb. 14, 1944 and served in the European Theater of Operations.

He was awarded the Purple Heart, European- African- Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon with one Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert rifleman, Ardennes (France) campaign ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.

CPL Dude Bomstad entered the Army Air Corps December 1942 and served until January 1946. He served as supply sergeant in a B-26 bomber unit stationed near London, England. He was awarded the Eastern European theater ribbon, American theater ribbon, WWII Victory medal and the Good Conduct medal.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Arthur Burns entered the U.S. Army May 6, 1949 and retired Feb. 15, 1975. CWO3 Burns served two tours of duty in Vietnam in 1967 and 68 and 1971 and 72. Awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star medals, Meritorious Service medal, Joint Service commendation medal, three Army Commendation medals, Army Good Conduct medal with 4 OLC, National Defense Service medal, Vietnam Service medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm device, Meritorious Unit commendation with 1 OLC, Sharpshooter and Vietnam Campaign medal.

Pre-fireworks fun

Celebrate your patriotism and love of music all at once as the Park Rapids Area Community Band performs a pre-fireworks concert, starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 4 in Heartland Park. The band is moving from Red Bridge Park due to construction.

You won’t want to miss a note from the piccolo to the big bass drum. Dr. Russell Pesola conducts the band in a concert of patriotic music and marches that sets the stage for the Independence Day celebration’s grand finale.

Grand finale

The day comes to a close with a fireworks display overlooking Fish Hook River and Heartland Park. Beginning at about 9 p.m.

Because the pyrotechnics are set off in Heartland Park, some parts of the park will be closed for safety reasons. There is still plenty of seating, plus space in Red Bridge Park or in a boat on the Fish Hook River.

The show, sponsored by the Park Rapids Rotary Club, will begin shortly after dusk.

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Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
(218) 732-3364
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