Huge parade, fireworks draw thousands

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 5, 2002

Before the biggest Third of July Parade in recent memory, members of the Albert Lea Jaycees knew two things for sure.

&uot;We knew it was going to be long, and we knew it was going to be good,&uot; said organizer Tom Jones. &uot;Both of those turned out to be true.&uot;

The parade’s 177 units took around three hours to wind down the parade route Wednesday, but the whole thing went off smoothly, Jones said.

Email newsletter signup

The parade’s size was ballooned by the salute to 9/11 at the start of the procession, which included 17 area fire departments. The 100th anniversary of 4-H brought out many more floats, also contributing to the parade’s record size.

Besides being large, the parade featured high-quality entries, Jones said.

&uot;I heard many compliments that this was by far the best year for floats,&uot; he said.

The Jaycees awarded the best floats in three categories and named an overall winner. The Knights of Columbus, winners in the non-profit category, took home the overall prize.

The Twin Lakes 4-H Club took first in the youth category and the Albert Lea Tribune won the commercial category.

Second-place finishers were Salute to America/God Bless America in the youth category; Albert Lea Vineyard Fellowship in the non-profit division; and Classic Reflections in the commercial category. All the winners get cash prizes.