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Park Rapids readies for Independence Day parade, fireworks

Spectators have a host of patriotic festivities to choose from this Fourth of July -- from a parade and flotillas to music and fireworks. Firecracker Foot Race The 40th annual 5K run/walk begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 4 at Heartland Park. Pre-...

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Post 212 American Legion Color Guard will lead the Independence Day parade, which is a tribute to the military service. (Enterprise file photo)

Spectators have a host of patriotic festivities to choose from this Fourth of July - from a parade and flotillas to music and fireworks.

Firecracker Foot Race

The 40th annual 5K run/walk begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 4 at Heartland Park. Pre-register at www.pickleevents.com or at Heartland Park on July 3 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The fee is $30. Registration the day of the race will be from 6:30 to 8:15 a.m. and the cost will be $35.

The race is a fundraiser for the Park Rapids cross-country and track and field teams.

A free Kids Fun Run will follow the 5K race at approximately 10:15 a.m. There will be different distances to accommodate the different kids age groups.

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Lake flotillas

The Long Lake Fourth of July flotilla starts at 9:50 a.m. Gather at New Frontier Resort on the west side of the lake. Follow the north or south leaders as they lead off at 10 a.m.

The Little Sand Lake Association boat parade begins at 10 a.m., departing from Zorbaz.

The Emma, Stocking, and Bottle Lakes Association will hold its annual pontoon and boat parade on July 4. Gather at Schneeman's Bay at 9:30 a.m. for refreshments. The flotilla starts at 10 a.m.

To join the Big Sand Lake Association's annual boat parade, line up at 10 a.m. at the northeast end of the lake.

The Fish Hook Lake and River Association boat parade begins at 11 a.m. at Red Bridge Park..

John Michael Lerma Pie Baking Contest and auction

Hosted by Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, bakers can enter a pie in one of four categories. The entry fee is $5 per pie. All proceeds benefit the Park Rapids Library. Cash prizes are given to top pies in each category, including "Best in Show." Pie entries are accepted until noon on July 4. All pies, minus one slice, will be auctioned off around 3 p.m. at Pioneer Park on Main Avenue.

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Fourth of July parade

Sponsored by Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, the Park Rapids Fourth of July parade pays tribute to the men and women who fought for the nation's freedom.

Three World War II veterans will serve as this year's grand marshals.

Corporal Lowell G. Anderson entered the U.S. Army July 13, 1943. He graduated from eight weeks of medical technician school prior to deployment to the European Theater of Operations. Anderson's decorations include the American Theater Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal and two overseas service bars. He was discharged April 1946.

Platoon Sergeant Richard W. Weech entered the U.S. Marine Corps June 1944 and was discharged May 31, 1952. He served in the Pacific Theater from July 1945 to July 1946. He then served in the Korean War from March 1951 to May 1952 when he was discharged from active duty. He was awarded the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Medal, Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars and the UN medal. Weech served in combat.

Machinist Mate 3rd Class Curtis O. Gwynn entered the U.S. Navy on Dec. 29, 1944 and completed technical training at Great Lakes Naval Base prior to deployment on the USS Buckner Bay. He served in the Pacific Theater until his discharge on Aug. 29, 1946.

Beginning at 5 p.m., the parade route starts at the fairgrounds and goes east along Second Street West to Main Avenue, then south to Eighth Street and back west to Fair Avenue.

Post 212 American Legion Color Guard will lead the parade. The Legion Auxiliary, Sons of American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Retired Military Groups and American Legion Riders are also part of the lineup.

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The parade also features a marching band, area royalty and a shrine club.

Pre-fireworks concert

The Park Rapids Area Community Band performs at 7:30 p.m. in Heartland Park. A variety of patriotic and other music will be performed while people wait for the fireworks to begin.

Fireworks

The Park Rapids Rotary fireworks show, the "biggest and baddest in the state," begins at dusk and closes out the Independence Day celebration in Park Rapids. The impressive show shoots off from Heartland Park, overlooking Fishhook River.

Related Topics: PARK RAPIDS
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