Get ready for Fourth of July fun

Bone-jarring arena action From the pageantry at the beginning to the final bone-jarring ride, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Challenger Tour will thrill spectators July 3, 4 and 5 at the Double J Rodeo Grounds on Highway 34 east. Gates open a...

Bone-jarring arena action

From the pageantry at the beginning to the final bone-jarring ride, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Challenger Tour will thrill spectators July 3, 4 and 5 at the Double J Rodeo Grounds on Highway 34 east.

Gates open at 5 p.m. with the action starting at 6:30 p.m. - rain or shine.

The three-day event offers 42 riders a night with the top 10 going back to the short-go, competing for points and prize money to qualify for the PBR World Finals.

Park Rapids has become a legendary location and home of the largest outdoor bull ride in the USA. Some competitors come for the hospitality, others enjoy a reprieve from the heat or are on the road to Calgary. But regardless of why they enter, they will be tested on the world's best bulls.


Berger Bucking Bulls out of Mandan, ND, three-time Contractor of the Year, will be back with their world-renowned bucking bulls along with stock from other contractors from Texas, Missouri, North Dakota and Montana.

Dirt-flying, high-riding freestyle motocross riders will entertain before and during each show, combining two of the most extreme and dangerous sports in the world. On the lighter side, each night offers the popular kids sheep riding event, dances in the Montana Pavilion, a mechanical bucking bull, vendors and merchandisers and a new white-tailed deer exhibit - all on the grounds.

Preview downtown

For an up close, inside chance to be part of the PBR Bull Ride, head downtown from 1 to 2 p.m. July 3, 4 and 5. Bull fighters, clowns and a brahma bull will be on hand for a Meet and Greet at Pioneer Park on the second block of Main.

Shotgun Rodney Gaston, twice nominated for Clown of the Year, will bring his bull, Doc Holiday. In the evenings, Doc Holiday will jump through a hoop of fire, climb a pedestal and amaze spectators at the PBR. While you may not want to get close enough for an autograph from the big fella, bring along a camera.

Participants at the Meet and Greet also will have a chance to win free PBR tickets.

Land parades

Starting at 3 p.m. July 4th, Players Club will take to the stage in Pioneer Park to entertain before the parade on Main Avenue.


The parade route remains the same - starting on Monico Lane, south on Main to 5th Street then west - but starts at a new time - 4 p.m.

The theme is "Salute to Our Military," with veterans organizations participating and veterans, their spouses and families as guests of honor.

"We're excited to have the PBR back as part of the parade this year," said organizer Dave W. Konshok. "Rotaract is partnering with the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber and Downtown Business Association to make the parade bigger and better than ever."

On your mark...

Registration for the Firecracker Footrace opens at 7:30 a.m. July 4th at Heartland Park with the race starting at 9.

The event offers three races on a certified course. They are a 5K run/walk, 5-mile run/walk and 1-mile kids fun run. Divisions are 18 and under, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and better.

Registrants receive a race T-shirt. Sign up by calling 237-6600 or go to (under register for Race, Road Race).

Sponsored by Park Rapids Community Education, the event is a fundraiser for the Panther boys and girls track teams.


Down by the water

The All-Veterans Memorial Committee will have a food booth at Red Bridge Park the evening of July 4th.

The committee raised the money for the All-Veterans Memorial Park on Highway 71 south and continues fundraising to build a museum next to the park.

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.

Some lake associations sponsor post-flotilla potluck picnics and other social events.

The Hubbard County Sheriff's Office reminds groups organizing flotillas on lakes for the 4th of July weekend it is necessary to obtain a permit. Special event permits are available for $10 at the Law Enforcement Center, located at 203 Court Ave.

Residents also are reminded that a permit is required for a diving raft located on a lake. The $10 permit for the diving raft is a one-time fee.


The Emma, Stocking and Bottle (ESB) Lakes Association is having a pontoon and boat parade at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 1 beginning at the dock of Dave and Monica McGill on Upper Bottle (on the northeast side).

Any and all watercrafts are welcome. Decorate the craft in a patriotic theme or come "as you are."

The Long Lake Flotilla will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 4th. All boats and pontoons should meet at Wooter's Point. After receiving numbers, faster boats will be heading south and pontoons and slower crafts will be going north.

Judging will be on the west shore, in about the middle of the lake. Show numbers when passing by the judging banner.

The Fish Hook Lake and River Association will be sponsoring a flotilla at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 4th beginning on the northeast side of Fish Hook in front of Sharon and Gary Rezac Andersen's home and going around the lake and river. Decorating is optional.

Call Vicki at 732-7746 regarding any questions.

The Potato Lake Association is holding a Parade of Boats Wednesday, July 4th on the west arm.

All members are invited to meet at the west arm sandbar at 10 a.m.


Boat decorations are encouraged.

The Belle Taine Lake Association will have its 4th of July boat parade at 10 a.m., beginning at the west bay entrance into the lake.

Donuts and lemonade will be served at the Nevis public beach at the end of the parade.

Pickerel Lake on County Road 4 will have a 4th of July flotilla at 11 a.m., beginning in the southeast corner of the lake in front of Paul and Barb Heeren's. Everyone is welcome.

Big Sand Lake will have a 4th of July boat parade at 11 a.m., starting near the Lake Emma inlet in the northeast corner of the lake.

To be included in the drawing for prizes, have a sign with the family name large enough to be visible from the docks along Iowa Beach.

Little Sand Lake Association will have their annual 4th of July boat parade at 10 a.m., starting at Zorbaz.

Pre-fireworks concert


Celebrate your patriotism and love of music all at once as the Park Rapids Area Community Band performs a pre-fireworks concert, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Red Bridge Park.

The band has a portable band shell so the audience should be able to hear more clearly than in the past, said manager Paul Peterson.

You won't want to miss a note from the piccolo to the big bass drum. Dr. Russell Pesola conducts the 55-piece band. The patriotic music will include marches and set the stage for the Independence Day celebration's grand finale.

Going out with a bang

The show overhead starts at dusk in Heartland Park and never fails to bring "oohs" and "aahs" from spectators.

Because the pyrotechnics are set off in Heartland Park, some parts of the park are closed for safety reasons. However, there is still plenty of seating, plus space in Red Bridge Park or in a boat on the Fish Hook River.

Don't forget to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on and a sweatshirt since it might be chilly when the sun goes down.

The Park Rapids Rotary Club is sponsoring the display, funded solely by donations.

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