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A booming Fourth of July weekend

Whether you're looking to catch firework displays, sun rays or candy this Fourth of July, Douglas County will be hopping with Independence Day-related events, either on the 4th or the following weekend.

Boat parades

For those looking to celebrate the Fourth on the water, the Chain of Lakes boat parade will start its annual event at 10 a.m. at the Lake Carlos/Darling bridge, winding its way to the Carlos/Le Homme Dieu bridge. In addition, the Lake Victoria boat parade will also begin at 10 a.m. on the south end of the lake in front of the landing.

Lake Miltona will hold its parade at noon starting at the Sandy Beach north boat ramp (registration one hour prior). The route of this parade will be determined the day of based on wind direction.

Big Chippewa Lake will launch its 31st annual Boat Parade on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on the southeast side of the lake in front of Ramsdell's Beach.

Church celebration

Elim Lutheran Church of Osakis welcomes everyone to its 120th annual Independence Day Celebration starting at 10:30 a.m. The public is invited to bring a chair and hear a program led by guest speaker Jerome Larson, and bring a salad or hot dish to share at a potluck dinner, with pie provided by Elim Women Ministries for dessert. After dinner, games and activities for all ages as well as concessions will be provided.

West Union parade

West Union southeast of Osakis holds its big Fourth of July parade from 2-3 p.m. The parade will begin at the north end of town and end at St. Alexius Catholic Church.

Patriotic concert

Join the Red Willow Arts Coalition at 7 p.m. on the Alexandria Courthouse lawn with a chair or blanket to take in a free concert honoring America's veterans sponsored by the Douglas County Sheriff's Federation and REA Operation Round-up. The concert will feature the patriotic musical stylings of Velvet Brass, a band based in Glenwood.

Fireworks galore

Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center of Alexandria will again hold its annual Star Storm fireworks display over Lake Darling at sunset. Food, drinks, games and more will be available at Arrowwood starting at 7 p.m.

A fireworks display will also be put on by the Osakis Fire Department over the Osakis Country Club at dusk.

Evansville's 'Red, White & Boom Days'

Patriotic events will continue beyond the Fourth, beginning Friday morning in Evansville with city-wide garage sales from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Beginning at 9 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, the public is also welcome to attend a free-will offering bake sale and lunch.

The afternoon continues with free history tours from 1-3 p.m. at the Evansville Historical Foundation and hot dogs, nachos and treats being served at the Evansville Community Center from 6-7:30 p.m.

The day comes to a close with family Bingo at the Evansville gym and the First Friday Concert at the Evansville Art Center, both beginning at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, the fun continues with a free Color Dash 5K run/walk beginning at 8:30 a.m. (registration opens at 8 a.m.) at the Central Lakes Trail by the fire hall.

Starting at 11 a.m. by the Evansville school playground, teams of all ages can participate in a bean bag tournament benefiting the Evansville Education Scholarship Foundation. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the cost is $20 per team.

The afternoon continues with a Lions grand parade at 2 p.m. down Main Street and the Schmidt pedal pull for ages 4-15 beginning at 3 p.m. in the school parking lot. From 3-6 p.m., the public can also enjoy a petting zoo, inflatables, games and food vendors by the Evansville Fire Department.

A pork chop dinner will be served from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Evansville Community Center, and a free watermelon feed begins at 8:30 p.m.

The packed weekend will end with the Backroads Steakhouse street dance at 9 p.m. and fireworks at dusk.

Saturday pontoon parade

The 11th annual Lake Osakis pontoon and boat parade will commence at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at the north end of the lake by Boss Creek.

Anyone in the area is invited to decorate their boats and compete for the chance to win the traveling trophy as well as bragging rights and the honor of choosing next year's winner. This year's winner will be chosen by last year's winning contender, Osakis Jailhouse Rock.

For best viewing, it is suggested to line up on shore near the Head of Lakes Resort or the Battle Point County Park fishing pier.