Charmed forces marchPublished 3:45am Wednesday, July 4, 2012
With temperatures in the 90s and 56 percent humidity, crowds lined the Third of July Parade in Albert Lea to see more than 120 entries march, pedal, cruise, speed or trot down the city streets.
The float winning Best Overall in the Third of July Parade belonged to Innovance. It’s entry featured a silhouette of a soldier on bended knee.
The theme for the 2012 parade was “Celebrating Our Armed Forces.”
Being Best Overall gave the local company first place in the commercial category. Interstate Packaging took second.
The Hayward 4-H Club took first place in the nonprofit category for a USO show that looked straight out of World War II. The Knights of Columbus took second.
In the youth category, the Freeborn County 4-H dog members took first place. Dog owners split into teams representing the branches of the armed forces and their dogs competed for how quickly they could execute the commands. Second place went to The Children’s Center.
Crowds along the route were particularly thrilled when the Albert Lea High School marching band went by and especially when they performed the medley “Patriotic Spectacular.” The school hadn’t sent a marching band since 2007 to perform in the city’s largest parade.
The other marching band was from New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva High School, and the crowds generally were happy seeing that squad, too.
The parade was sponsored by the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.
The organization handed out People’s Choice Awards, too. They went to: Capt. Jack Sparrow, Albert Lea Marching Tigers, NRHEG Panthers marching band, Fountain Lake Sportsmen’s Club, Freeborn County 4-H dog members, Casa Zamora, Ahlahasa newspaper, Hayward 4-H Club, Unlimited Possibilities Dance Studio and Girl Scouts of the Minnesota-Wisconsin River Valleys.