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Fourth of July events were a blast

"Once in a blue moon, all the many, many ingredients involved in producing an event of this size fall into place to make for special and electric performances -we are delighted to have experienced this in our 30th effort here in Park Rapids," sai...

"Once in a blue moon, all the many, many ingredients involved in producing an event of this size fall into place to make for special and electric performances -we are delighted to have experienced this in our 30th effort here in Park Rapids," said Professional Bull Ride (PBR) Challenger Tour producer Denese Jokela.

"We feel we had three solidly entertaining and professional shows in front of the greatest fans in the world," she added.

"We thank everyone who helped make this possible and thank our fans for their many years of support. These exciting performances coupled with the enthused reception from our spectators and the outpouring of assistance from the community have energized us and we are already making plans for next year - bigger and better!"

After two nights of flawless performances, Mother Nature brought in heavy winds for day three, grounding Guiltee By Association (GBA), freestyle Moto X entertainers. The riders say they were very disappointed when the heavy winds would not let up and they were forced to not jump.

Riders' safety must be the number one priority when jumping dirt bikes over 70 feet in distance and 35 feet in the air. As professional riders they need to stay healthy to "perform another day."

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Cody Cavanaugh (GBA back flipper) talked about his injury from high winds in December. "I hit the take-off ramp and mid-air the wind pushed me about 15 feet to the left. I hit the side of the landing and the end result was a broken leg and four months of no riding.

"The fans are so great in Park Rapids and I enjoy coming here every year and I was very disappointed when I couldn't perform," he said.

Guiltee By Association has been performing shows for over six years and always strives to perform a professional show.

"We would like to extend our thanks for all the support from the Park Rapid fans and we are excited to start planning for the 2009 event," Cavaugh said.

Top PBR money winners here were:

Cody Campbell (Summerville, OR) $11,000

Ned Cross (Midland, OR) $5,953

Dusty Ephrom (Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada) $3,502

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Shane Proctor (Grand Coulee, WA) $2,421

Matt Werries (Jacksonville, IL) $2,295

Tater Hins (Huron, SD) $1,735

Casey Stirling (Highmore, SD) $1,647

Jordie Campbell (Bindloss, AL) $1,159

Jordan Hupp (Cheyenne, WY) $907

Reese Cates (El Dorado, AR) $655

Jimmy Crosby (White Salmon, WA) $781

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Cord McCoy (Tupelo, OK) $781

Matt Pojanowski (Woodbury, MN) $781.

Parade winners

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce announced winners in the 4th of July parade.

Winning the best themed float honor was the Smokey Hills Wilderness Retreat float.

Taking the most humorous title was Merry Bees.

There was a tie for the best classical/antique automobile entry with both the Northern Knights Car Club and the Blue Star Mothers with Kevin Thyr's 1948 Cadillac Limo named winners.

The best muscle car/truck entry was awarded to J and D Towing and Deitchler Repair.

The best animal entry went to Big North Distributors.

Best in show went out to Bearly Used Thrift/DAC Recycling.

The best children's entry was given to the Hubbard County 4-H Riders.

Park Rapids Friendly Squares received the Grand Marshal's Award.

The last word

Katie Magozzi, executive director of the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, said she felt the weekend's events were "exemplary overall."

"It takes a community to pull these things off and I am always amazed by the volunteerism in this community," she said.

In addition to co-sponsoring the parade with Rotaract, the Chamber hosted the beer garden at the PBR event.

"It was a great event and we are proud of the Jokelas and our partner, the Park Rapids Wrestling Boosters, who helped all three nights of the PBR," Magozzi said.

In addition, the Hubbard County Sheriff's Office tripled security this year, with the Sheriff's Mounted Posse providing assistance also.

Magozzi said 30 Chamber members and 22 members of the Wrestling Boosters pitched in.

"Everything was well run," she added. "We had a lot of fun."

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