Pierre Bottineau Parade kicks off Maple Grove Days festivities

Today, Thursday, July 12, is the Pierre Bottineau Parade, an evening of fun for the entire family. Normally over 9,000 viewers line up along 89th Avenue to watch the parade.

The parade mascot Pierre Bottineau is portrayed by Kurt Palmer and joins with visiting royalty, beautiful floats, school marching bands, youth groups, church groups, school organizations, community organization, businesses, police and fire vehicles, animals and musical groups for a full line up of entertainment.

Back by popular demand this year the T-6 Thunder flyover. Two of the T-6 planes from the Thunder group will fly over the parade route beginning at 6:10 p.m. Maple Grove Days organizers are excited to have them provide a dramatic start to the parade.

The parade committee reviews well over a hundred applications each year and tries to provide a well-balanced parade that everyone will enjoy. As part of the line up, there will be 11 royalty units and five high school bands that include Maple Grove, Osseo, St. Cloud All City Band, 728 Cadets and Buffalo High School bands. There will be a judged band competition awarding first, second and third place trophies at a ceremony following the last band’s parade finish. A sportsmanship award will also be given to one band in memory of Maple Grove band member Nicholas Turcotte.

Each entry is encouraged to think of entertainment value and creativity in the planning of their parade units, as they are judged in a competition of two categories, over $2,000 and under $2,000, with cash awards going to first, second and third place winners.

The parade committee has tried to award the Grand Marshal honor to a person or organization that has contributed to the improvement of life. This year the committee has the honor of selecting Kate Maguire. Maguire is proud to represent School District 279, all of the staff supporting the district and each of the students and their families.

Each year volunteers, police officers and fire department personnel monitor the parade route. They are all trained to look for potential dangers along the route.

"Our number one concern is to keep everyone safe," stated Becky Smith, parade committee. "We ask cooperation from all parents. We understand how tempting it is for children to run out after candy but all units have been instructed to walk to the curb line and hand out the candy."

It is very important to keep children behind the curb for their safety as well as the safety of the participants that utilize all the street space for performances. Marching bands are being judged, competing for points, so they must stay in formation. It is very important that viewers allow them room.

Political units will be leading off the parade at 6:10 p.m. with the remainder of the parade following at 6:30 p.m. The parade route will be the same as previous years. It will run from Zachary Lane to Elm Creek Boulevard along 89th Avenue, except for political units that will begin at Forestview.

So no matter what a favorite part of the parade is, people are sure to find the Pierre Bottineau Parade fun for the whole family. The parade committee wants to thank you in advance for keeping the streets and neighborhoods clean by picking up the trash and disposing of it in trash receptacles provided by Waste Management, when leaving.