Douglas County was bursting with Fourth of July fun over the weekend.
The hot and sunny weather on Friday, Saturday and Sunday lured a lot of Fourth celebrators onto the beaches and lakes.
The Chain of Lakes Boat Parade drew hundreds of participants Saturday morning. They gathered by the Carlos/Darling bridge to show off their festooned watercrafts, engage in water fights and cruise the shorelines of the chain.
The Lake Ida Boat Parade started at Pilgrim’s Point and organizers said boaters were in a cheerful celebratory frame of mind as they made their way around the south end of the lake. More than 81 decorated boats and pontoons participated in the 45-minute tour – about double the turnout of a regular year, organizers said.
Other big boat parades took place on lakes Victoria, Miltona, Osakis and Big Chippewa.
There were other Fourth of July celebrations as well: A pie and ice cream social at the Evansville Historical Foundation; an outdoor gospel/patriotic program at Elim Lutheran Church near Osakis; and a patriotic sing-along at the Douglas County Courthouse lawn featuring Katie’s Swing Band, sponsored by the Red Willow Arts Coalition.
Another highlight of the July 4 weekend were fireworks displays in Osakis and Alexandria. The Star Storm show at Arrowood, which aired live on the resort’s Facebook page, drew more than 200 viewers alone. Hundreds of others watched from the resort’s grounds and stables, or took in the view by boat.