By Jen Bakken
LORETTO, MN The Loretto Lions have been bringing a little bit of Bedrock to the Delano Fourth of July parade since the early ‘70s.
The original Flint-Mobile, as they call it, was made out of a 1963 Chevy Camaro.
Because the Flintstones was a popular cartoon at the time, the group decided it would be popular with parade goers. And it was a hit, as it continues to be today.
Yaba Daba Doo
When Kenny and Judy Sorenson moved from Iowa to Loretto in 1987, they had no idea they would soon become known as Fred and Wilma.
New to the area, Kenny wanted to meet people and get involved in the community, which led him to join the Loretto Lions.
“One Saturday evening, up at the bar, we were talkin,’” he remembered. “And the next think I know, I’m driving the Flint-Mobile in the Long Lake parade, and I have been driving it in parades ever since.”
Beginning with a Camaro, the Lions changed to using an electric golf cart. Over the years, the couple has made parade crowds yell “Yaba Daba Doo” not only in Delano, but Hamel, Crystal, Rockford, Rogers, and Watkins.
“Two years, the thing quit,” said Judy with a laugh. “I ended up pushing it to the end of the parade. We won first and second place those years.”
The Flint-Mobile was revived with a new gas-powered golf cart, relieving Judy from using foot power as Fred Flintstone used to do.
In 2000, Kenny transformed a two-cycle utility golf cart into the parade favorite it is today.
Made out of all basswood, it includes a back window, and two glove boxes.
They’re a modern stone age family
As the theme song goes, the Sorensons may be a modern stone age family, but to this day, they still don’t own a computer.
“Oh we get by just fine without it,” said Judy. “But some parades are hard to get into now because everything’s done online.”
Though the couple is well known for the Flint-Mobile, it could be said that Judy is just as well-known on her own.
For over 20 years, she has worked in the Loretto area as a waitress or bartender serving her “coffee guys.”
“They follow me wherever I am working,” she said with a laugh. “Just me and the same old guys, it’s a vicious circle. I’ve always worked in Loretto and people know me. I love it.”
The Sorensons have four children, nine grandchildren, and six step-grandchildren. Family members and friends have taken turns over the years acting as Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm, Betty, and Barney in parades.
Though they have to borrow a truck from one Lions member and a trailer from another, and it can take some time to coordinate it all, they still enjoy being in the parades.
“This year is special,” said Judy. “It’s the Loretto Lions’ 40th anniversary.”
The Sorensons truly became part of the Loretto Lions family, have been involved in the community and continue to add a bit of stone age fun to the Delano Fourth of July parade.
This year’s parade spectators are sure to chuckle as Kenny and Joyce, aka Fred and Wilma, drive by with a wave.
And, Kenny is sure to honk his pterodactyl horn for many years to come.