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4th of July extravaganza brings fun to Park Rapids

A parade is held in Laporte today and Park Rapids Sunday. (Anne Erickson / Enterprise)

Here are the Fourth of July festivities in and around Park Rapids

Firecracker Foot Race

Online pre-registration has begun for the Firecracker Footrace July 4 at Heartland Park.

Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. race on July 4. Registrants receive a race T-shirt.

The event includes a 5K or 10K run/walk. Divisions are 18 and under, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 ad 60 and better.

Those interested in participating in the run are encouraged to pre-register for a lesser fee at Registration will also be available the evening before the race, from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, July 3 at Heartland Park.

About 500 people typically participate in the event, which is a fundraiser for the boys and girls cross-country and track teams. For more information, go to www.parkrapidsrunning. com.

Boat parades

Friends and neighbors gather on the water to celebrate the holiday, decorating watercraft from canoes to pontoons for fun and sometimes for prizes. Many lake associations sponsor post-flotilla potluck picnics and other social events. See page 2A for a listing of boat parades.

Pie auction

The fourth annual Fourth of July pie-baking contest and auction, benefiting the Park Rapids Area Library, will be held Sunday, July 4 at Beagle Books.

Pies will be accepted from 9 a.m. until noon. Entry fee is $5 per pie.

Pie categories are custard or cream, single crust (baked), double crust (baked) and children's (any pie baked by an 8- to 12-year-old).

The top pie in every category will receive an Emile Henri pie plate, a Beagle Books gift certificate and $25.

The pie deemed best of show will win an additional $100.

After the judging, at approximately 3 p.m. the pies will be auctioned off (each missing a slice).

All proceeds, from entry fees and the auction, will be donated to the library.

Judges this year include Julie Kramer, Minnesota mystery writer of "Stalking Susan," "Missing Mark" and "Silencing Sam;" a representative from The Good Life Café' and local chefs Tom Geraedts and Jay Kimble.

4th of July parade

This year's parade will begin at 5 p.m. heading from Monico Lane, south on Main Avenue to 5th Street and then west. Remember to bring a lawn chair and corral the kids from running out into the street for candy.

This year's theme is a "Salute to our Military, An Old Fashioned 4th of July."

The Chamber also plans to have vendors, such as face painters, caricature artists and clowns, to entertain on Main Avenue during the parade.

PBR bull ride

The annual Professional Bull Riders Challenger Tour has its last show today (Saturday), July 3 at the Double J Rodeo Grounds on Highway 34. The gates open at 5 p.m. with the show starting at 6:30 p.m.

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 p.m. in Red Bridge Park.

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. bring your radio and tune in to 97.5 KDKK or 92.5 Hot Country. A pre-show with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion, the mayor and the Rotary president will be broadcast. The fireworks will immediately follow the program.

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.

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