Archived Story

Thanks to many for parade help

Published 9:40am Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I would like to express my thanks to the community, veterans, emergency services, businesses, individuals and organizations for their participation in the annual Third of July Parade. Organizing an event of this magnitude is never easy, but it appears to be well worth the effort when I see all the happy faces lining the streets. I do have to make special mention of the work done by Geri Jensen of our office, supported by Sue Axsmith and Amy Gauthier, who spent many hours both organizing and agonizing over the lineup. I extend my thanks to the Albert Lea Tribune for publishing the lineup prior to the parade.

I also have to thank the city of Albert Lea’s Street Department and Police Department for their assistance. We are especially grateful to Ben Mortenson for his help on Richway Drive. Thanks to our judges, Kari and Todd Fjeldberg and Linda Bottelson, for their work in selecting the winners and to KATE for broadcasting the parade throughout the area. I should also thank Dan Borland for allowing the judges and KATE to take advantage of his property and for taping the entire parade. Of course, no Independence Day celebration would be complete without a rendition of the National Anthem as performed for us by Carrie Boyer-Olvera.

I could not end this without a public thank you to Tom Jones. Tom has been intimately involved with the parade for over 20 years. He works tirelessly behind the scenes, helps select the grand marshal and marks out the fairgrounds each year. On the night of the parade, he directs the units as they leave the fairgrounds and, with others, keeps the parade as smooth flowing as possible and in the proper order. He justly deserves everyone’s thanks and praise.

Lastly, my thanks to the many, many contributors (businesses and individuals) who donated to the annual fireworks display. Without the citizens of Freeborn County, they would never happen. We have a great deal to be proud of and Jeff Jahnke and his crew from Pyrotechnic Displays look forward each year to their task. They speak highly of the way they are treated by the community so thank you all again for being an outstanding group of citizens.

No doubt I have forgotten someone who deserves special mention, and for that I apologize.

Randy Kehr

Executive director

Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce