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Summertime is full of festivals

Summertime for Albert Lea and area residents provides many opportunities to participate in or enjoy watching various festivals, especially parades.

These festivals represent two different types of events. Some are special and may take place just once in a lifetime. Two prime examples are the Colonel Albert Lea Days in 1939 and 1940 and the nation’s bicentennial celebration on July 4, 1976.

Other festivals take place on a regular basis during the summer months each year. These annual events include the Bayside water ski shows, the Fourth of July fireworks, Eddie Cochran Weekend and Car Show, Wind Down Wednesdays, the Sparky and Short Stop golf tournaments, Freeborn County Fair and the Third of July Parade.

This last event has been a part of local life since 1992, according to Tribune files.

The change in dates for the local parade reportedly came about because several musical groups, political candidates and various organizations and business firms wanted to also be a part of the Austin parade on the morning of the Fourth of July, and maybe even the Blooming Prairie parade during the afternoon of Independence Day. Also, some folks could be spectators at two or three of these area parades.