Pandemic or no pandemic, Saturday will be the Fourth of July and Douglas County will celebrate with festivities including music, boat parades and fireworks. Many organizers are urging participants to wear masks and keep space between themselves and others.
Here's a rundown on what is happening and where.
July 4 boat parades
The Lake Ida Boat Parade will start at 9 a.m. at Pilgrims Point. Jim Conn will lead the parade around the south end of the lake in his vintage Chris Craft.
The Chain of Lakes parade will begin around 9:30 or 10 a.m. by the Carlos - Darling bridge and head toward Lake L'Homme Dieu. If you are going to participate, prepare to get wet. A water gun or two might come in handy for self defense.
Lake Victoria will kick off its parade at 10:30 a.m. at the public access.
Registration for the Lake Miltona boat parade begins at 11 a.m. at the Sandy Beach North Boat Ramp with the parade at noon. Route will be determined the day of the parade based on wind direction. The parade will end at the sand bar on the south side outlet to Ida Lake. Prizes are $75 for first place and $25 for second.
- The 2020 Lake Osakis Fourth of July Pontoon parade, held on the north end of the lake, will start at 1 p.m. Last year's winners, the Larsons, will judge and host the award ceremony. First place gets the traveling trophy, bragging rights, and the opportunity to Judge the 2021 parade. Two smaller trophies are up for grabs -- "People's Choice" and "Most Patriotic." Please bring your masks if you plan on exiting your pontoon/boat. For event news, or to share and see photos along with future parade updates, join the Facebook Group, Lake Osakis 4th of July Pontoon Parade.
The 33rd Annual Big Chippewa Lake boat parade will begin at 2 p.m. The parade will begin on the southwest side of the lake in front of Ramsdell's Beach. Prizes will be awarded by the Big Chippewa Lake Association for best patriotically decorated entrants — $50 for first place, $30 for second and $20 for third.
- Evansville has a pie and ice cream social on Friday, July 3, 2-6 p.m. at the Evansville Historical Foundation and a 7 p.m. Friday, July 3, concert by Josie Nelson at the park.
- Elim Lutheran Church at 16307 141st Ave., east of Osakis, will celebrate its 122nd annual Independence Day celebration at 10:30 a.m. with an outdoor gospel/patriotic program with Lindell Quam, followed by a picnic at noon and outdoor games. All are welcome and are asked to take appropriate COVID-19 precautions.
Katie's Swing Band and an honor guard will lead a patriotic sing-along on the Douglas County Courthouse lawn at 7 p.m. Saturday. They'll start with a swing version of "God Bless America" and end with a sing version of "God Bless America." The event will include the Pledge of Allegiance, a musical salute to the armed forces and other songs.
The Red Willow Arts Coalition, which is organizing the concert, asks those who are not feeling well to stay home. It also encourages concert-goers to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.
July 4 fireworks
- Osakis Country Club, 501 Eighth Ave. E., Osakis, at dusk (about 10 p.m.) Because of pandemic restrictions, no seating will be allowed on the golf course. Keeping onlookers off the course also allows the Osakis Fire Department to set off larger shells which will go higher into the air so viewers can watch from their parking spots along 27 East or old 51 (W. Union Road), or County Road 4 just outside Osakis, said Fire Chief Craig Dropik. “We’ve changed the show to make it better for everybody,” he said.
Star Storm at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria starts around 10 p.m., weather permitting. Because of COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, there will be no shuttle service to the resort and no outside guests will be allowed on the Arrowwood property. Onlookers can park at the stables to watch from their vehicles. Star Storm will be aired live on the Arrowwood Resort Facebook page. Accompanying music will air on KIKV-FM 100.7.