Fourth of July Activities: Albert Lea, Bricelyn, Northwood, Austin offer plenty to do

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 29, 2007

By Tribune staff

The week of the Fourth of July will be a week for area cities to shine.

Independence Day festivities in Albert Lea will begin with the July 3 parade at 6 p.m. and will end with a bang during a fireworks show that starts at dusk on the Fourth at City Beach along Fountain Lake.

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The theme of this year&8217;s parade is &8220;American Moments.&8221;

So far there are 122 units in the parade, said Tami Riecke, co-chairwoman of the chamber July 3 parade committee.

In the past, there have been an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people who have come out to watch the procession along its 1.3-mile route.

In addition to the usual float contest, this year the chamber is inviting business and homeowners along the parade route to decorate their front yards for a second contest.

The best decorated yard or business along the parade route will be awarded $100 in Chamber Bucks.

Riecke said the idea for the contest came after a few individuals on Bridge Avenue decorated their yards last year.

&8220;It was so pretty, inviting and patriotic,&8221; she said.

Throughout the week of the Fourth of July, the Albert Lea Art Center will also host a special American history exhibit, with extended hours for individuals and families to attend.

A collection of more than 60 historical photos, drawings and posters owned by Rosanne Holcomb of Albert Lea will be on display.

Her collection depicts famous people and significant events, which give a perspective to this country’s past.

The Art Center will be open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, on the Fourth of July from 1 to 5 p.m. and from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed.

The Bayside Skiers will also have their &8220;Bayside High&8221; show starting at 2 p.m. on the Fourth at Edgewater Bay.

It includes the typical doubles, trios, wakeboard, swivel, jump, ballet line, barefoot and pyramid acts, as well as a land skit.

To wrap up the holiday, the fireworks show begins at dusk on the Fourth at City Beach.

For more information about the parade or fireworks contact the chamber at 373-3938.

Northwood, Iowa

When the Fourth of July lands in the middle of the week it can be difficult to plan a celebration appropriate to the holiday, but that isn&8217;t stopping those in Northwood, Iowa. The &8220;Hometown Fourth of July Celebration,&8221; sponsored by the Northwood Area Chamber of Commerce,

will be on the fourth with a day full of festivities and excitement.

Breakfast will be bright and early at 7 a.m. and the annual parade will start at 11 a.m. There will be food and fun in the park including inflatable games, bovine bingo, T-ball, a basketball tournament and a fishing contest.

The Little Miss and Mr., Junior high Miss and Mr., and the Senior high Miss and Mr. will be crowned and awarded prizes including $250 scholarships for the senior high competitors. Each candidate for the competitions was sponsored by a Northwood Chamber of Commerce member.

Capping off the night will be entertainment at the Worth County Fair grandstand, fireworks at 10 p.m., a street dance and a beer garden.

The holiday celebration is sponsored by Chamber members who donate funds in addition to their annual dues to help make this event happen each year.


Bricelyn will be celebrating the Fourth of July over a period of three days, starting today and ending on Sunday.

This is the 50th celebration for Bricelyn and they are making sure it is one to remember.

On Friday there will be a children&8217;s theater at 7 p.m. followed by an ice cream social at 8 p.m. Later in the evening thee will be a teen dance at the park with music by Stage One Sound.

For the adults, there will be a dance held at the American Legion Hall with music by Led Penny Band.

On Saturday there will be men&8217;s softball and women&8217;s volleyball for anyone who would like to participate.

There will be a garden tour at 9 a.m. to show of gardens of Bricelyn residents.

Following the tour will be refreshements, and later an art show.

At 1 p.m. will be the Fourth of July Parade, followed by a horse show and water olympics. From 4 to 7 p.m. will be the famous Chicken Barbecue and music in the park. At 7:15 p.m. at the Bricelyn school there will be an awards ceremony and a variety show for anyone to enjoy.

A street dance will be held at 9 p.m. in front of Mike&8217;s Bar and Grill with music by Foolish Mortals.

After the dance there will be a patriotic tribute at the athletic fields. Finally at dusk it will be time for the fireworks.

On Sunday there will be a pancake breakfast at the American Legion Hall and at 9 a.m. a community church service in the park. At 10 a.m. there will be an antique tractor pull, followed by the last big event: an all-school reunion at 11 a.m.

Blooming Prairie

Blooming Prairie will celebrate an Old Fashioned Fourth of July starting Tuesday and concluding Wednesday.

Activities get under way at 10 a.m. Tuesday with a tractor pull at Victory Field. Events at the city park include a pie and ice cream social, water war games, a magic show as well as bingo.

A street dance featuring Rambone will take place downtown from 8 p.m. to midnight. You must be at least 21 to attend and have a Fourth of July Celebration support button which costs $3.

July 4 begins with the Blooming Prairie Lions Club Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Other highlights of the day include softball and volleyball tournaments, hole-in-one miniature golf, a horseshoe competition and an antique tractor show.

Southern Minnesota&8217;s largest Fourth of July Parade takes place from 2:30 to 4 p.m. with over 100 units participating. Laverne&8217;s Concertina Old Time Dance Band will follow the parade.

The celebration concludes with fireworks at Victory Field at 10 p.m.

The events are open to everyone. For more information call 507-583-4472.


Austin&8217;s annual celebration of community and America&8217;s independence &8212; SpamtownUSA Freedom Fest &8212; will sparkle with entertainment over its three-day schedule, June 30 and July 3-4.

Major events include Hambone Blues Jam, Classic Car Show and sporting events, June 30, followed by two days of family entertainment in Bandshell Community Park, July 3-4.

The Austin Jaycees’ Street Dance, featuring Martin Zellar and the Hardways, will be held 6:30 p.m.-midnight July 3.

Hambone Blues Jam will feature 13 hours of continuous music – both inside and outside of Torge’s Live at Holiday Inn of Austin – beginning at noon Saturday, June 30. Ten local and national artists will be featured over 12 hours of continuous musical entertainment.

Other entertainment that Saturday will include the Classic Car Show and Cruise, 5-Mile Hog Jog, 25-Mile Dan Ulwelling Bike Race, and Kids Fishing Contest.

Two baseball tournaments will be held June 29-July 1. The Morning Lions Fly-In Breakfast will be held Sunday, July 1, at the Austin Municipal Airport.

Two days of activities are scheduled for Bandshell Community Park, July 3-4. Stage entertainment includes the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Brian and the Mississippi Five polka band, Austin Swing Band, Bissen Brothers and other local entertainers. Other entertainment includes an Arts and Crafts Show, jugglers, magicians, and a “Birds of Prey” show. The U.S. Air Force will have an F-16 fighter plane engine on display at the park, both days, and the Austin Police Department will present a canine demonstration, 3 p.m. July 3. That night, Martin Zellar and the Hardaways and Dobbins Creek will play at the Austin Jaycee’s street dance on Main Street.

Cannon Falls

What can be described as a combination of agricultural fair and a Fourth of July celebration takes place at the 92nd annual Cannon Valley Fair in Cannon Falls from June 29 to July 4.

There will be full schedule of grandstand shows and demonstrations, 4-H events, demolition derby, a parade and the traditional carnival.

This carnival, Merriam Shows and Rides, is the same attraction which will be at the

Freeborn County Fair from July 31 to Aug. 5.

The parade will start at 11:30 on the fourth and the fair will conclude with a fireworks display at dusk that same evening.