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Fourth of July festivities a blast

A bull rider attempts to hang on for 8 seconds at the annual PBR event. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)1 / 2
Patriotic-themed boats were featured in parades on area lakes. This boat was on the north end of Long Lake, which had two parades. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)2 / 2


That's how some people are describing the Fourth of July weekend in Park Rapids.

"What was wonderful to see was the community coming together," said Park Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Katie Magozzi.

The parade on Main Avenue was a success, she said. The theme for this year's parade was an Old Fashioned Fourth of July and a Salute to Our Military. It was organized by the Chamber of Commerce Parade Committee with volunteer support by Park Rapids Rotaract Club.

Pre-parade entertainment on Main was provided by the Colt 45 Band. April Hodge sang the National Anthem while the American Legion Post 212 Color Guard, Marine Corps League Detachment 1109 Color Guard, Boy Scout Pack 58 Color Guard, Bemidji Chapter 7 Disabled American Veterans, Blue Star Mothers and Grand Marshals Leroy Boyce and Don Singlestad presented the stars and stripes.

The parade featured more than 125 entries. The 2009 award winners are the following:

-Best Themed Float - Itasca State Park

-Most Humorous - Carter's Red Wagon Farm and El Zagal Shriners Mobile Nobles (special mention)

-Best Classic/Antique Automobile Entry - Northern Knights Car Club

-Best Muscle Car Entry - Park Rapids All School Reunion

-Best Animal Entry - Hubbard County Mounted Posse

-Best Children's Entry - Cub Scout Pack 58

-Most Patriotic - All Veterans Memorial Float and Park Rapids Retired Military Float

-Best in Show - Northern Knights Car Club

-Grand Marshal's Award - Park Rapids Friendly Squares

In the evening, the Park Rapids Community Band performed a concert, followed by the Park Rapids Rotary Club fireworks at dusk.

"The fireworks were spectacular," Magozzi said. "Everyone stepped up to make sure Park Rapids had fireworks."

The 31st annual Park Rapids PBR Bull Ride July 2-4 was also a success.

"The weather was fantastic and the crowds were great," said Producer Randy Jokela.

This year there were record crowds at the bull ride, he said.

"Friday night especially, there was something special with the crowd and the riders," Jokela said.

This year's top money earners were:

n Matt Werries (Chapin, Ill.) $11,125

-Cord McCoy (Tupelo, Ok.) $7,835

-Ned Cross (Midland, Ore.) $4,001

-Billy Robinson (Galax, Va.) $3,362

-Matt Pojonowski (Woodbury) $2,840

-Cody Nance (Paris, Tenn.) $2,494

-Josh Ehlers (Bismarck, N.D.) $1,546

-Ryan Schumacher (Baldwin, Wis.) $1,210

-Jay Pahlke (Biskmarck, N.D.) $1,128

-Chad Denton (Berry Creek, Calif.) $668

-Ednei Caminhas (Brazil) $396

Fifteen other riders got paid.

Werries, the top money earner, had a 90 point ride, which was the highest, Jokela said. He is right on the edge of making the PBR Challenger Tour finals in October, Jokela added.