By Ryan Gueningsman
A little construction isn’t going to stop Delano from hosting the oldest and largest Fourth of July celebration and parade in Minnesota this summer.
The main thing people will notice this year is that the Fourth of July celebration committee has designated a new parade route because of the detour of Highway 12 traffic.
The parade will still begin at 10:30 a.m. at Delano Schools, and continue west on Elm Avenue until Third Street, where it will head south for two blocks to Railroad Avenue.
From there, the route will run west again on Railroad Avenue past the Delano Public Library to the corner of Railroad Avenue and River Street by the Delano Post Office.
At the post office, the parade will head south on River Street and make a quick left onto Franklin Avenue, and head east along the railroad tracks.
It will head south again on Third Street until reaching St. Peter Avenue, where it’ll head east again until Fifth Street. The parade will head north on Fifth Street until Rockford Avenue, where it’ll head east again for its final leg (see map).
“The decision was made as soon as we found out what the detour was going to be with Highway 12 traffic running down by the park,” said chairman Jack Lynch. “Rather than try to reroute traffic through residential areas, we thought it’d be better to reroute the parade itself.”
Lynch said he hopes people who are on the route this year will open up their yards and boulevards to people wanting to watch the parade.
He said the decision to run the parade on Third Street South was made because the street has sidewalks on both sides, and is a wide street.
“Ending on Ninth is convenient for people who are in parade they can either go back to the school or exit out,” Lynch said.
One thing that is being postponed this year is the annual 5K run.
“We do feel bad about having to postpone the race because we had such a huge success last year, but we felt this year with construction and the change in the (parade) route and everything, that we had to do it.”
Lynch said he is hopeful the race can resume next year, and said the race, along with the parade route, are the two main changes this year.
New features in 2008 will include pork chops prepared by the Wright County Pork Producers, corn-on-the-cob, the ever-popular milkshake booth, plus the longtime favorite hamburger stand.
The fun begins Wednesday, July 2, as area softball and baseball teams begin to duke it out in the annual tournament. Fans can cheer on their favorite teams as they sip on cold refreshments. Lynch said the tournaments have been expanded this year to include co-ed and slow pitch matches.
Bands confirmed to perform at the celebration in 2008 include The Killer Hayseeds, Butch Automatic/Retro Allstars, Jonah and the Whales, and UK5. Arnie Wannebo and the Wagon Wheelers will also be featured with their original brand of old-tyme selections immediately after the parade. Also the evening of the Fourth is the ever-popular fireworks display.
There will also be the annual carnival to the park featuring rides, games, and plenty of all-American snacks, including cheese curds and mini donuts.
This year, the celebration lasts four days, and includes more than enough entertainment to satisfy every member of the family. The Delano Royalty Organization is also observing its 40th anniversary, and has a number of special things planned for the occasion.
Lynch said one thing to remain aware of during the celebration will be the increased traffic on River Street near the park, and that parking is allowed only on the east side (park side) of the road.
Additional off-street parking is in the works, including behind the dike and around Golden Living Center Nursing Home.
Looking for more information?
Up-to-date information is available on the celebration’s web site www.delano4th.com.
The Delano Herald Journal will also publish updates on the festival.
• For more information, or to sign up for the softball tournaments, contact Dan Krause at (612) 203-9818.
• For more information, or to register for the parade, contact Cliff Simon at (763) 972-4422.