BY SUSAN VAN CLEAF
Delano’s traditional 4th of July celebration dates from 1857, and it’s back this year beginning Saturday, June 30.
Events will run through Wednesday, July 4, except for Monday, July 2, when no official Delano 4th activities are scheduled.
Old favorites are back and some new twists have been added. Several traditional activities will provide grand finales for the celebration on July 4, but lots will happen before that.
FOX 9 meteorologist Keith Marler will serve as Grand Marshal of the 2012 Fourth of July Parade. He airs on weekdays with "Weather on the 9s" from 4:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the FOX 9 Morning News and from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. hosting the FOX 9 Buzz.
All roads to the parade route will close at 9 a.m. on July 4, with the parade beginning at 10:30 a.m. Come to Delano early and pick a spot to enjoy morning festivities. The parade begins at Delano High School at the corner of Tiger Drive and Elm Avenue and ends in Central Park at the crossing of North River Street and 3rd Street.
The 5K race will precede the parade at 9:30 a.m. Race Day registration and race start is at the intersection of St. Peter Avenue and 13th Street, near the Delano Crossings Shopping Center. Runners will follow the parade route through downtown Delano and finish at Delano Central Park.
Cost to run in the 5K is $25 prior to June 30 and $30 after that. Two or more family members will receive a $2 discount per runner if they register together by June 30. Register as a team and receive special recognition (costumes encouraged.) Register online at active.com or from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. on race day at the starting place for the race.
_A 30-minute fireworks show caps off the Delano Fourth of July Celebration. Prior to Wednesday, July 4, at 10:30 p.m., find a spot and stake a claim on the dike near Delano Central Park. Admission is free.
Music, food, carnival rides and much more will take place on all four days of Delano 4th of July.
_Stop in the entertainment tent at the Central Park band shell to hear performances of Rocket Club from 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, D.J. Adam Wells from 7 to 11 p.m. on Sunday, Tim Mahoney and GB Leighton from 7 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday, Wally Pikal from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Diamond Back from 8 p.m. to midnight on Wednesday.
Goldstar Carnival will offer rides, food and games on all four days in Delano Central Park. The Delano Area Chamber of commerce is coordinating advance sales of discount carnival ride tickets. Advance tickets are available through Friday, June 29, at the State Bank of Delano, Crow River Bank, Delano True Value, Coborn’s, Flippin Bill’s, Loopy’s and Delano Floral & Gifts. Tickets are sold in strips of five for $10.
The Social Bean Bag Tournament in which teams compete for cash prizes has proven to be a popular event. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., Saturday in the entertainment tent and the first game will begin at 11 a.m. Cost per team of $25 includes entry into tournament, a park giveaway raffle, and two t-shirts. Teams may register in groups of two and may have two alternates. Teams must register in person on the day of the event.
The eighth annual Stars and Stripes Legion Baseball Tournament will be held Saturday, June 30 through Wednesday, July 4. All games will be played at historic Municipal Stadium at Central Park. The Red Division will feature teams from Delano, Elk River, Osseo and St. Louis Park, and the Blue Division consists of teams from Providence Academy, Minneapolis SW, Waconia and Edina.
Other competitive events will include modified and slow pitch softball tournaments and a kickball tournament.
Youth in costumes will compete for prizes at the Kiddie Parade that will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday near the gazebo in Delano Central Park. Costume categories will include Patriotic, Sports, Cartoons, and Miscellaneous.
The Kiddie Tractor Pull will be a state sanctioned event for youth ages 11 and under. The Tractor Pull will start at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, July 1._ Registration begins at 1 p.m. on the pavement, between the baseball diamond and bingo stand.
Sunday, July 1 will be the peak event for the Delano Royalty. Coronation of this year’s Senior Ambassadors will take place at 6 p.m. in the Delano Middle School auditorium. Twelve young women are competing for three ambassador spots. The 12 are Sami Burke, Amber Doboszenski, Courtney Fuchs, Emma Kopp, Bridget Max, Kelsie Nelson, Serena Petersen, Emily Peterson, Alyssa Prior, Taylor Thomssen and Anna Wischmann. Winners will ride in the Fourth of July parade
New this year is demonstrations by a chainsaw artist in Central Park from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 1.
July 4th will have lots of activities between the parade and the fireworks. The softball and baseball tournaments will peak with championship games. American Heritage Pipes and Drums will wander through Central Park following the parade. Professional wrestling will return with Buck "Rock-N-Roll" Zumhofe from 2 to 4:30 p.m. near the bingo stand.