Sarah Stultz: Third of July Parade a magical time for many

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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As long as I’ve lived in Albert Lea, the Fourth of July has been one of my favorite holidays.

Whether you’re gathering with your friends and neighbors at the Third of July Parade, taking part in the car show downtown or getting together with family to watch the fireworks, the opportunities are great.

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The only year I can think of that I missed the parade and all of the other festivities since I’ve been in town was in 2016 when our daughter, Sophie, died. That year was off in many ways, and it was weird to not be a part of those memories that year.

Sophie loved parades, just as our son, Landon, does.

Landon loves waving to people and seeing them in return throw out or hand out candy. And to say he loves the marching bands is an understatement. If you sit near us, you’ll probably see him dancing to the beat of the music once we hear a band getting close.

There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it — if I had only one Fourth of July activity to participate in, I’d choose the parade. That’s how much I enjoy it. In addition to seeing my son have so much fun there, one of my other favorite things about going to the parade is seeing people I know on the floats, and I love taking photos there, too, for the newspaper.

I look forward to seeing who will be represented this year, and what kinds of floats there will be.

It’s hard to believe the Fourth of July is already next week!

As we were getting our Fourth of July Event Guide ready for the newspaper (which will be in the weekend edition), I was saddened to hear that not as many people/businesses/organizations had signed up to participate in the parade this year as in years past.

If you have never participated in the parade, I encourage you to give it a try.

It can provide great visibility to your business or organization, contribute to community pride and provide good exercise, too.

I’d venture to say that outside of the fair, the parade is one of Albert Lea’s biggest events all year.

The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce organizes the parade, so if you’re interested in participating, give them a call at 373-3938.

Help make the parade magical for the children of the community — and us adults, too!

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.