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4th of July parade grand marshals named

CPL Ernest Malmskog and Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Harriet Malmskog are this year’s 4th of July parade grand marshals.

By Anna Erickson

Independence Day, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, will be here soon.

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce is again orchestrating the celebratory events.

This year’s theme is “We the People,” honoring the firefighters and first responders who fought the Green Valley Fire and all firefighters and first responders who risk their lives to save others.

The emcee this year is David W. Konshok and Annette Haas will sing the National Anthem.

The parade will march at 3 p.m. (two hours earlier than past years) with the line-up beginning at 1 p.m. on Monico Lane. The procession will head south on Main to 5th Avenue (Bearly Used), turning west to Heritage Living Center, where it will disperse.

The Chamber is seeking floats for parade. The entry fee is $15 and anyone interested can contact Emma Moore at 732-4111 or

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 CPL Ernest Malmskog and Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Harriet Malmskog.

The Malmskogs are one of only 12 surviving couples that both served on active duty in WW II. They live in Park Rapids.

CPL Ernest Malmskog served in WW II from 1942 to 1946. Ernest participated in offensive and defensive operations from Dec. 29, 1943 to May 29, 1944 at Cape Gloucester, N.B. He served in the Pacific Theater from Jan. 19, 1943 to July 5, 1945.

He was a sharpshooter on both the pistol and rifle. He was assigned to the 10th tank battalion as a radio operator. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and American Campaign Medal.

Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class Harriet served from July 7, 1943 to Oct. 5, 1945. She served her entire military career at the United States Navy Hospital, Long Beach, Calif. Her primary duty was the medical care of U.S. military personnel and their families.

An auction of the pies entered in the 7th annual pie-baking contest sponsored by Beagle Books will follow the parade on the Second Street Stage.

Beagle Books is host of the event benefiting the Park Rapids Area Library. Pie judging begins at noon at Beagle Books on the 4th.

Second Street Stage will feature the band “i like you” from 5-7 p.m. in downtown Park Rapids.

Felicitous, joyous, deliriously beautiful! Whether gathered around a campfire, on a large outdoor stage, a dimly lit dining room or the dramatic confines of a theatre, i like you makes every situation better with their universal messages of hope, love and redemption.

These talented musicians weave a tapestry of rich, beautiful harmonies with an eclectic blend of ukulele, trumpet, violin, acoustic guitar, upright bass and percussion. Delivering a timeless, energetic sound that evokes elements of funk, folk and swing with pop, reggae and gypsy-jazz, the ever-colorful Wendy Soleil leads this group of talented musicians with her gorgeously full vocals, soulful songwriting and ecstatic devotion to her primary instrument, the ukulele. One last thing, they really do like you.

At 7:30 p.m. the Park Rapids Area Community Band will perform a concert in Red Bridge Park, followed by “a spectacular” Rotary fireworks display at dusk, made possible through donations from citizens and businesses.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561