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Park Rapids makes big noise for Independence Day

With light that blazed through eyelids and sound that traveled through the earth and straight into people's bodies, Park Rapids defended its self-proclaimed title as "Minnesota's July Fourth Fireworks Capital" Thursday night.

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Thursday night's fireworks display at Heartland Park was provided by the Park Rapids Rotary Club. (Photos by Robin Fish/Enterprise)

With light that blazed through eyelids and sound that traveled through the earth and straight into people's bodies, Park Rapids defended its self-proclaimed title as "Minnesota's July Fourth Fireworks Capital" Thursday night.

On the Heartland Park side of the Fish Hook River, the crowd carpeted the grassy hills of the county park, outside a police tape barrier set up for safety around the launch site.

The Park Rapids Area Community Band entertained early comers with a full program of patriotic numbers, including an Armed Forces salute, a Sousa march, a medley of patriotic tunes and another of all-American film composer John Williams' themes from "Star Wars."

A field of folding chairs sprang up, with children darting between them carrying glow sticks and sparklers. Small groups played catch with flying disks, footballs and balloons with lights inside. Skateboarders, cyclists and basketball players made use of the dying daylight.

As night fell, some of the park's neighbors launched their own, private fireworks shows nearby, as if to warm up the crowd for the main event.

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The big finale of the night drew cheers and applause. Then the crowd that had arrived gradually, all began to leave at the same time. The resulting traffic jam was probably repeated in towns all over the country, a familiar part of the nation's birthday celebration.

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Before the fireworks at Heartland Park, Adam Tervola-Hultberg directs the Park Rapids Area Community Band in a program including patriotic pieces, a musical tour of the world and movie themes by John Williams.

Related Topics: PARK RAPIDS
Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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