By Gabe Licht
DELANO, MN Music, a carnival, a parade, baseball, softball, and, of course, fireworks. It will all be part of the Delano 4th of July Celebration that kicks off Wednesday.
Wednesday’s festivities will include the Gold Star Carnival beginning at 4 p.m., comedian juggler Alan Johnson on the family entertainment stage at 6 and 7:30 p.m., the Craft Beer Showcase in the entertainment tent from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Delano Ambassador Coronation at 7 p.m., and the Shane Martin Band in the entertainment tent at 8:30 p.m.
“There will be an expanded carnival this year,” Celebration Committee Chairman Alex Roeser said. “Because of the flood, the carnival was forced to move rides up Third Street. People liked it so much, and we got positive feedback, that they’re going to move the kiddie rides up there.”
Carnival wristbands for unlimited rides will be available for $25 from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m. Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. The carnival will also open at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Discount tickets are also available through 6 p.m. Wednesday at State Bank of Delano, Minnesota Lakes Bank, Coborn’s, True Value, Dairy Queen, Dave’s Town Club, and Loopy’s.
The tickets are sold in strips of five for $10.
Meal tickets will also be available at the same locations. A burger meal ticket is $5.50, and a pork chop meal ticket is $7.
The Craft Beer Festival is back by popular demand.
“We sold 225 tickets last year and they all said they were bringing a friend this year,” Roeser said. “We’re limiting it to 400 tickets.”
Those tickets are on sale at Delano Wine & Spirits for $15, and will cost $20 at the gate.
In addition to about 30 craft brews, the event will also feature an acoustic set by Shane Martin before he takes the stage with his full band.
Coronation will be moving back to the grandstand for the first time in six years, weather permitting, with it being moved to the Delano Middle School Auditorium in case of inclement weather.
Magician David Farr will kick off entertainment on the family stage at 6 and 7 p.m. Thursday.
Prize giveaways with K102’s Chris Carr will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., with the Rowdy Cowboy Show at 7:30 p.m. and Lost Highway to follow.
“Friday will be interesting,” Roeser said. “It’s supposed to be the national day off . . . Friday is geared a lot toward the family.”
Dale Dahmen & the Polka Beats will provide family entertainment from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., followed by Alan Johnson at 6 and 7:30 p.m.
American Legion Post 377 will present the Patriot Program at 4 p.m. under the entertainment tent.
“There is more than just a lot of glitz and glam at the 4th of July,” Roeser said. “We also deal in a lot of substance. The American Legion will be running our annual Patriot Program. There will be guest speakers, music, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence.”
The kiddie parade will start at 4 p.m. at the gazebo and the kiddie tractor pull will follow at 5:30 p.m., with registration at 5 p.m.
The fireman’s waterball will take place at 7 p.m. on Third Street, and the Fabulous Armadillos will take the stage at 8 p.m.
Saturday is the big day, beginning with the 31st annual 5K run at 9:15 a.m. and Minnesota’s oldest and largest 4th of July parade at 10:30 a.m.
In order to prepare for those two events, no parking will be allowed on the parade route or side streets beginning at 9 a.m.
“Please make sure you’re where you need to be by 9 a.m.,” Roeser said.
Pre-parade entertainment is being added this year.
“We’re running clowns up and down the parade route to entertain kids,” Roeser said. “It’s something we’ve talked about for years. This year, we finally found a way to do it, so there will be clowns on the parade route.”
Melissa Keller and Terri Traen will be emceeing the parade at the former site of Three Crows.
Rep. Tom Emmer will serve as grand marshal for the parade.
Before the parade finishes, the bean bag tournament will begin, with 11:30 a.m. registration and a noon start.
Family entertainment will include the Far Out K9 Flying Disc Experience dog show at 2, 4, and 6 p.m. at Zitzloff Field and the Balgaard Brothers at 4:30 p.m. on the family stage.
Music will be provided local band Alaytra at 7:30 p.m. and Rock Godz at 8:30 p.m.
And, it wouldn’t be the 4th of July without fireworks.
“The fireworks show is bringing a whole bunch of things that have never been seen in Delano before,” Roeser said. “There will be several first-time effects in our fireworks show. The committee is extremely excited and can’t wait.”
Find more information about this year’s 4th of July Celebration in the insert in this week’s paper.