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On Fourth, communities to carry on timeless rituals

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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Asked if there was anything particularly special about this year's Independence Day celebration in Spicer, Laurie Campbell of the Spicer Commercial Club paused, and then said no, not really.

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"We're just celebrating the Fourth," she said.

The ritual commemorating the nation's independence will look a lot like years past throughout the area. Hot dogs and hamburger patties will be grilled and consumed, people will throng to the streets for community parades, and the skies at dusk will be filled with vibrant colors and their accompanied fizzles and booms.

As in past years, the Spicer Grand Day Parade is expected to draw more than 15,000 visitors, said Campbell. Many of them will head to Saulsbury Beach on Green Lake for a fireworks display at dusk.

Below is a listing of Independence Day events in communities throughout the area.

Spicer

The celebration in Spicer will begin on Friday, with a street dance featuring Judd Hoos at 9 p.m. downtown.

A craft fair and flea market will be held starting this evening, and then from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. A petting zoo and pony rides will also be open this evening, and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and there will be a pedal pull at 4 p.m. Friday.

Basketball, volleyball and softball tournaments will be held from Friday to Sunday.

The Lions Pancake Breakfast will kick off the festivities on Independence Day beginning at 6:30 a.m. The kiddie parade will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Grand Day Parade at 10 a.m.

In the evening, the New London-Spicer Community Band will hold a concert at 7:30 p.m. at Saulsbury Beach on Green Lake, followed by a fireworks display at dusk.

On Sunday, work off the excesses of the day before at the Green Lake Road Race starting at 7 a.m. Register for the race from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday near Melvin's.

Dad's Belgian Waffles will be served at the Spicer American Legion from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, and a church service on the beach is set for 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Prinsburg

Prinsburg will kick off its Independence Day celebration early, with a fireworks display accompanied by music on Friday at 10 p.m. at the Unity Christian Reformed Church.

The 2.5-mile Freedom Fun Run will start the day on Saturday at 8 a.m., followed by a day of entertainment at the Central Minnesota Christian School. The kiddie parade and main parade will start at 6 p.m., line-up is at 5:30 p.m. Theme for this year's parade is "Childhood Memories."

Other festivities will include a worship service at 10 a.m. at First Christian Reformed Church, a pork roast dinner at the high school gym, a silent auction, games from noon to 4:30 p.m., a concession stand, pedal tractor pull at 2 p.m., a trap shoot from 2:30 to 5 p.m., horse rides from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Maynard

Festivities begin on Friday at 9 p.m. with the firemen's dance featuring the Shaw Brothers. Saturday will kick off with the kiddie parade at 10:30 a.m., followed by the grand parade at 11 a.m.

Entertainment is scheduled throughout the afternoon, including Ezra 'n Lubus at 1:30 p.m., a queen's coronation and program at 2:30 p.m., a kiddie tractor pull at 3 p.m. and a raffle drawing at 4 p.m. Concessions will be available throughout the day, which will conclude with fireworks at dusk.

Paynesville

Rice Lake and Lake Koronis will hold their respective boat parades on Saturday, with the Rice Lake parade departing the Morningstar Resort at 1 p.m. and the Lake Koronis parade leaving Regional Park at 1 p.m. There will also be a sailing regatta on Lake Koronis, along with fireworks at dusk.

Willmar

The annual Eagle Lake boat parade will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the public access. Judges will present prizes to the most patriotic, most creative and children's float.

Morton

Morton's celebration will last throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday and Saturday, a flea market will be set up in the park, with crafts and food also available. A street dance with entertainment by Slacker will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, followed by a short fireworks display at 10 p.m.

Events will be held throughout the day on Saturday, starting with a firecracker run at 8 a.m. and concluding with a street dance featuring J.A.M. Entertainment beginning at 9 p.m. and fireworks beginning at 10 p.m.

Festivities will include a craft and flea market, horse show at noon, parade at 1 p.m., tractor pull at 2 p.m. a pedal pull at 7 p.m. and a 9 p.m. program. There will also be kids' activities, volleyball and horseshoe tournaments, bingo, a pork chop feed and more. The museum will be open throughout the weekend, and there will be a worship service in the park at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by a potluck and entertainment, including a waterball tournament.

Terrace

The Terrace Mill will hold old-fashioned games and contests at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, including turtle races and egg toss and more; bring a picnic for an outdoor meal at 5 p.m., beverages will be provided.

Madison

A parade at 2 p.m. will kick off the festivities on Saturday, with a concert at 8 p.m. featuring local talent at the Prairie Arts Center. Fireworks will begin at dusk. Other festivities throughout the day will include fire department water fights, a brat feed, beer garden and more.

Starbuck

Heritage Days, celebrating Starbuck's 125th anniversary, will begin today with a style show at the Starbuck Community Center, followed by an evening showing of "National Treasure 2" in the park.

On Friday, the Johnny Holm Band will play at the VFW parking lot for a street dance beginning at 8:30 p.m. Prior to the street dance will be a pulled pork feed at the fire hall.

A golf tournament tees off at 6:30 a.m. and the Rise 'N Shine 5K and 10K race will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by a day of events leading up to a fireworks display at dusk.

Festivities will include a fly-in breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. at the airport; craft shows, quilt fairs and bakes sales beginning at 9 a.m. downtown; a kiddie parade at 10 a.m. downtown, folled by the push, pedal and pull competitions; kids inflatables and carnival games at Depot Square, beginning at 10 and 10:30 a.m.; a sand sculpture contest at 7 p.m.

Sunday's festivities will begin with a community church service at 10 a.m. at the city park, followed by a ham dinner and hamburger barbecue. The Grand Day Parade will step off at 1:30 p.m., followed by the Miss Minnewaska queen coronation and evening entertainment by Stoneback Family Brass at Fron Church at 7 p.m.

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