WCCO Sportscaster Mike Max will serve as Grand Marshal of Minnesota’s oldest and largest Fourth of July Parade — the giant procession that will wind its way through Delano on Thursday, July 4.
The parade will be only one of many huge events taking place during a four-day celebration that begins Wednesday, July 3 and ends Saturday, July 6, with a 10:30 p.m. fireworks display. Alex Roeser, who heads the all-volunteer Delano 4th of July committee, is promising a fireworks finale that will fill the sky with three 13-inch motor shells.
Most Delano Fourth events will take place at Delano Central Park.
“I can’t wait until it’s here,” said Roeser about the upcoming Delano 4th celebration. His voice bubbled with enthusiasm as he described what the Delano 4th Committee has cooked up.
The committee chose Max to serve as parade Grand Marshal for a reason, Roeser said. He is a big town ball fan, and Delano is getting ready to host the 2013 Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament at the end of August.
And the Delano Athletic Association, city of Delano and community groups have been improving baseball fields and facilities at Delano Central Park in anticipation of the tournament. Many of the improvements, such as new bathrooms, will be ready to go in time for the four-day Delano Fourth celebration.
Other new facilities will enhance experiences of Delano 4th visitors. Wayzata Children’s Clinic has donated a new family entertainment stage to serve as a venue for jugglers, the Teddy Bear band and other family-friendly acts. Also, the new multi-generation playground, with prototype Landscape Structures equipment, is likely to draw kids and adults to the southeast part of Delano Central Park.
Rock and country western music, a kiddie parade, bean bag tournament, softball tournaments, American Legion baseball tournament, Gold Star Carnival, parade, 5K run, Patriots Program, Royalty crowning, firemen’s water ball tournament, food, more…. Delano’s population of 5,000 just might double as the city welcomes visitors.
A schedule of events is elsewhere in this paper. For details on what’s happening, visit the website at Delano4th.com. Here are some Delano 4th highlights.
With the purchase of a $25 wrist band, a Delano 4th visitor can take advantage of five hours worth of Gold Star Carnival rides at a certain day and time. Ride tickets can be purchased in advance at a significant discount at a cost of $10 for five rides. Purchase ride specials in advance at Loopys Dollar Store, Crow River Bank, State Bank of Delano, Delano True Value Hardware, Coborns of Delano, Flippin Bill’s, Delano Floral and Gift and All Season Sports.
Special meal deals are available only before July 3 at the same locations. A cheeseburger, milk, chips and six ounce milk shake are available for $5. Food prices during Delano 4th events are being kept below the cost of munchies at similar events, Roeser said.
The Delano Royalty Organization is selling Delano 4th buttons to support the 10 candidates for three Delano Senior Ambassador positions. Costing $3 each, the buttons also are available at Coborn’s, Loopy’s Dollar Store and the State Bank of Delano. Names of purchasers will be entered into a drawing for prizes, such as gift certificates for golf, yoga classes, CardioFit class, an autographed Kent Hrbek baseball bat and gift certificates to area businesses.
Coronation of the 2013-14 Delano Royalty will take place Wednesday, July 3, at 7 p.m. at the Delano Middle School Auditorium, so that new Senior Ambassadors and Little Misses can begin their reigns during the Delano 4th parade.
The parade will follow its traditional route, with the processional jumping off at Delano High School. The retinue will swing east on Elm Avenue from Tiger Drive, turn south on Third Avenue, head west on Railroad Avenue and roll north on River Street to Delano Central Park.
All roads to the parade route will be closed at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 4, to protect competitors in the Delano 4th 5K run. Runners will follow the same route as the parade and be cheered on by crowds along the way. Registration forms and race information are available online at delano4th.com/hidden-pages/5k-race. Runners can register on the same day as the race from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. near the starting line at CVS Pharmacy. Special perks will be available to runners, including massages at the medical tent after the race.
Baseball and softball fans might be glued to their seats during all four days of the Delano 4th celebration. Last year coaches called the American Legion Baseball Tournament the best tourney of the year and said they definitely would be back, Roeser said.
The modified and slow pitch softball tournaments will feature both men’s and women’s teams.
Favorite bands and new ones, as well as other entertainers, will be on tap for all ages. Find them at the main entertainment tent, rain or shine, and the new family entertainment stage on all four days. Talent will include Alex the Juggler, Shaw Brothers Band, Smith and Western, Paul Christian, Brian Leighton, Magician David Farr, Brat Pack Radio, Teddy Bear Band, Frisbee Dogs, Balgaard Brothers and Rocket Club.
Special events this year will be the American Legion Patriot Program at 3 p.m. Saturday on the family stage and the firemen’s waterball tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday on Third Street. Also on Saturday, the Kiddie Parade will jump off from the Gazebo in Central Park at 11 a.m. Registration is at 10:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes in patriotic, sports, cartoons and miscellaneous categories.
Bean bag tournaments have proved to be favorite events. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the entertainment tent.