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Editorial: Traditions often taken for granted

Park Rapids has always been a destination for the Fourth of July.

It's the perfect place to start traditions and make memories for years to come. A large part of the draw to Park Rapids is the fireworks show held at Red Bridge Park overlooking Fish Hook River.

Some of the traditions we value most are often taken for granted, such as the fireworks show we come to expect each year. It's a spectacular show, with the fireworks reflecting off the water. Fish Hook River becomes flooded with boats as people find a place to settle in for the show.

The fireworks show is only possible because of private donations, though. The Rotary Club of Park Rapids organizes the show and gathers donations. If each of us step up and contribute a few dollars to the cause we can keep this wonderful tradition going.

Organizers this year say the show will be bigger and better, with more "bangs." It will be more of an aerial show so people won't have to be seated in Red Bridge Park to see the show.

A simulcast show will be playing during the fireworks on 97.5 FM and 92.5 FM. Last year there were speakers in the park but this year people will need to listen on their own radios. Music will include the Star Spangled Banner, the U.S. Air Force Band, the "1812 Overture" and more.

A pre-show will start at 9 p.m. with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion, the mayor and the Rotary president. The fireworks will immediately follow the program.

Don't forget to attend the annual parade earlier in the day as well. It starts at 5 p.m. and has a route along Main Avenue.

This really is a summer to celebrate, as Rotary fireworks chairman Alan Zemek has said.

The Main Avenue revitalization and reconstruction project will begin in August and give the downtown area an entirely new feel. Let's add to the vitality of the town by making a contribution toward the fireworks fund.

Contributions are tax deductible. Checks can be written to Park Rapids Rotary Fireworks Fund, PO Box 704, Park Rapids, MN 56470. A receipt will be given to document the tax deductible donation.

Don't take the fireworks for granted. Think about your Fourth of July traditions and consider a donation. We hope the Park Rapids area continues to be a destination over the Fourth of July.