Parade, fireworks to highlight 4th of July celebration
The Park Rapids 4th of July Parade helps highlight the annual Independence Day celebration.
The parade begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4 through downtown Park Rapids and pays tribute to the men and women who fought for this country's freedom.
There will be two Grand Marshals to head this year's lineup.
SSGT Melvin P. Noeske served in combat in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and Service Medals for the American and Asiatic-Pacific Theaters. He served from Feb. 22, 1943 to March 20, 1946.
Seaman 1st Lloyd Lundstrom, U.S. Navy WW II served aboard the USS Navorro and saw action putting Marines ashore during the battle for Okinawa. His ship was next to the USS Missouri during the signing of the peace treaty in Tokyo Bay. Lundstrom was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific medal with one battle star, China Liberation, Japan Occupation, WW II Victory Medal and the Navy Good Conduct. He served from June 4, 1944 to May 5, 1946.
The late PFC Paul A. Grams, who passed away Friday, will be honored in memory of as a Grand Marshal. Grams, U.S. Army WW II, served in combat in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He was wounded in action and was awarded the Purple Heart and Theater Service Medals with two Bronze Stars in the American, European, African and Middle Eastern Theaters. Grams also was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge. He served from June 30, 1943 to Jan. 1, 1946.
The parade route starts at the fairgrounds and goes east along Second Street West to Main Avenue then south to Eighth Street and back west to Fair Avenue.
Post 212 American Legion Color Guard will lead the parade. The Honor/Color Guard provides military honors for veterans of all branches of the military, Memorial Day and Veterans Day events. Color Guards also provide Honors at many other community events.
The VFW, Marine Corps League Unit, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion also join the front of the parade, along with the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Legion Riders to complete the Color Guards.
Community Band Pre-Fireworks Concert
The Park Rapids Area Community Band performs at 7:30 p.m. in Heartland Park.
The Park Rapids Rotary Fireworks, the "biggest and baddest in the state," begins at dusk and closes out the 4th of July celebration in Park Rapids. The impressive show shoots off from Heartland Park overlooking Fish Hook River.
Firecracker Foot Race
This 5K race is a Park Rapids track and cross country fundraiser at starts at 9 a.m. on the 4th in Heartland Park. There is a free kids Fun Run 1K following the 5K. Register early at www.firecrackerfootrace.com.
John Michael Lerma Pie Baking Contest and Auction
Hosted by Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, bakers can enter a pie in one of four categories for a $5 entry fee per pie. Cash prizes given to top pies in each category including best in show. Pie entries are accepted until noon. All pies, minus one slice, will be auctioned off at 3:30 p.m. on the main stage in Pioneer Park. Visit www.beagleandwolf.com for updates. All proceeds benefit the Park Rapids Public Library