It’s just weeks away from the Pierre Bottineau Parade, Thursday, July 11, 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 & 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.
The volunteer parade committee reviews well over a hundred applications each year, the selection process is a difficult one as new businesses and groups send in applications along with participants from past years. The committee would love to allow entries into the parade but they are restricted by daylight time. The goal is to provide a well-balanced parade that will host favorites everyone will enjoy.
As part of the lineup, the Maple Grove Ambassador candidates will meet the public and five high school bands that include Maple Grove, Osseo, St. Cloud All City Band, 728 Cadets and St. Francis 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 we have the honor of selecting the Maple Grove Steering Committee of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, representative committee member Joel Skagerberg. A Yellow Ribbon City’s purpose is to unite all areas within a community to create a comprehensive network that connects and coordinates resources for the purpose of proactively supporting servicemembers, veterans and military families. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon cities are required to complete a sustainable action plan, which is then submitted to the Minnesota National Guard and Governor Dayton for final approval and issuance of an official proclamation.
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. 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,” said Becky Smith, parade committee.
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 with the exception of Zachary Lane. This main intersection will not be closed off to traffic as in the past. With the development of Highway 610 traffic increase demands this intersection to stay open. This required the number of parade groups to be decreased by five units. Be patient as the committee learns to make this adjustment and keep the flow of the parade smooth as possible with as few gaps as possible. The route will run from Zachary Lane to Elm Creek Boulevard along 89th Avenue, except for political units that will begin at Forestview Lane.
So no matter what a favorite part of the parade is, people sure to find the Pierre Bottineau Parade fun for the whole family. The committee wants to thank people in advance for keeping the streets and neighborhoods clean by picking up trash and disposing of it in trash receptacles provided by Waste Management, when leaving.