HJ/EDJune 26, 2006

Gov. Pawlenty grand marshal for Delano's 4th of July parade

By Jenni Sebora

Where can you see Governor Tim Pawlenty, a parade, and fireworks all in one day?

At Delano’s annual Fourth of July celebration - the oldest Fourth of July celebration in the state.

Governor Pawlenty will be the grand marshal in this year’s Fourth of July parade, the oldest and largest Independence Day parade in Minnesota. And a beautiful fireworks display will round out the festival’s events on the Fourth of July, as people will scurry to find and save spots to view one of the most stunning fireworks displays around.

This celebration started approximately 125 years ago from an event where farmers sold their produce, and it has progressed to a myriad of fun events for everyone. Although the parade and fireworks are certainly highlights of Delano’s celebration, there are many other events spread out over the course of the festival’s longevity that will strike a chord with young and old alike.

This year, the festival fun starts on Friday, June 30 and ends on Tuesday, July 4 with the fireworks display.

Many activities and events will kick off the celebration, including the GoldStar Carnival, which will open at 6 p.m. for rides, games and delicious carnival treats. The carnival will run each day of the festival and at certain times throughout will offer unlimited rides with a $15 arm band purchase.

On Friday early evening, a kiddie parade will also make its way from the Delano City Hall, as children will be clad in their favorite costumes, with prizes awarded for the best in costume in patriotic, sports and cartoons categories.

For all those ball lovers out there, there’s plenty of baseball and softball action going on throughout the festival’s running. Tournament play for American Legion baseball and modified men’s and women’s softball begins early Friday evening with the championship games set for the final day of the celebration, Tuesday, July 4.

The popular music under the big top is sure to please people of all ages as a variety of music will be heard from the Central Park band shell. On Friday evening, the “Funk Junkies” will take the stage, and on Saturday evening, Prime Time DJ Adam Welz will provide the musical entertainment.

For those old time music lovers out there, The Marv Nissel Band will be under the big top on Sunday afternoon, July 2. The American Roadhouse will take the stage in the evening.

Butch Automatic will entertain folks on Monday evening, and on Independence Day, Hillbilly Cadillac followed by the Killer Hayseeds will culminate the big top entertainment this year.

The Miss Delano royalty coronation is a popular event. Coronation activities get underway on Wednesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. with the queen committee’s annual style show at the Delano Middle School auditorium.

The crowning of royalty will occur at 5:30 p.m. on Sun., July 2 at the city park baseball stadium, if the weather permits. In case of rain, the alternate site for the coronation will be the Delano High School.

For those runners out there or just spectators, the 8K road race begins at 10 a.m., prior to the parade. Roads will be closed early to prepare for the race, and runners will take off from the All Seasons Sports off of Highway 12 and make their way through the parade route.

Shortly after the completion of the road race, the state’s oldest and largest Fourth of July parade will wind its way through the heart of the town on a two mile route, beginning at the Delano High School. Governor Pawlenty will be greeting parade spectators as he rides on a float as the grand marshal.

Jack Lynch, the Howard Lake postmaster, is the celebration committee chair. According to Lynch, approximately 250 parade units will parade their way by thousands of people spread out around the parade route. Spectators travel from across the upper Midwest to enjoy the Fourth of July parade and the spirit of the community.

This year’s parade will showcase marching bands from Delano High School, Lakeville North High School, Lakeville South High School, St. Michael Albertville High School and a University of Minnesota marching band, the web site, www.delano4th.com noted.

After spectators are done enjoying the parade, they can head down to Central Park to enjoy more festivities, including carnival fun, tournament championships, music by the Killer Hayseeds and finally the well anticipated event finale, the fireworks.

This popular and long-lived Fourth of July celebration goes off with a hitch year after year because of the cooperation of community members that serve on the celebration committee.

The committee is led by representatives from a number of local community groups, including Delano American Legion Post 377, Delano Athletic Club, Delano Chamber of Commerce, Delano Jaycees, Delano Lions Club, and Delano Sportsmen’s Club.

Jack Lynch, who has been the celebration committee chair for 10 years, can attest to the cooperation that makes the festival’s event a success. “It (the celebration) almost runs itself. Everybody (on the committee) knows their jobs. There is great cooperation from the local police department and the Wright County Sheriff’s department to the people that chair the events.”

Lynch further noted that about 15 to 20 people attend the committee organizational meetings throughout the year, and each organization takes over and runs what it is in charge of.

“I don’t have to micromanage anything,” Lynch said. “It’s a fun time,” Lynch added. And that’s what it is all about.

Delano 4th of July Schedule of Events

Friday, June 30

-American Legion baseball tourney begins

-Men’s softball tourney begins at 7 p.m.

-GoldStar Carnival opens at 6 p.m.

-Kiddie Parade at 6 p.m.

-“Funk Junkies” in the band shell at 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 1

-Baseball and softball tourneys continue

-GoldStar Carnival opens at noon

-Prime Time DJ Adam Welz in the Central Park band shell at 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 2

-GoldStar Carnival opens at noon

-Kiddie Tractor Pull at 2 p.m.

-Men’s softball tourney continues

-Miss Delano Banquet at the Legion Club

-Wrestling with Buck “Rock-n-Roll” Zumhofe at the Central Park main diamond at 5 p.m.

-“The Marv Nissel Band” at 12:30-3:30 p.m.

-“American Roadhouse” at 7-10:30 p.m.

Monday, July 3

-GoldStar Carnival opens at 5 p.m.

-Men’s softball and American Legion tournaments continue

-“Butch Automatic” at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, July 4

-GoldStar Carnival opens at 10 a.m.

-8K Race begins at 10 a.m.

-Parade begins at 10:30 a.m.

-“Hillybilly Cadillac” in the band shell 1:30-4:30 p.m.

-Men’s Tournament championship game 8:30 p.m.

-“Killer Hayseeds” in the band shell-8 p.m.

-Fireworks show at 10:30 p.m.

For more information:

Contact the celebration committee chair- Jack Lynch (763) 972-3112

Or visit the web site at www.delano4th.com

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