Fourth of July festivities bring patriotism to downtown Grand Forks
Decades of fun over the Fourth of July holiday in Grand Forks continued as hundreds gathered in the downtown area for a parade, games, music and fireworks.
The Sertoma Club of Greater Grand Forks held its annual Fourth of July Festival Wednesday, striking up cheers for patriotism. Early morning showers had some worried, but a sunny day cleared away any concerns weather would dampen the day, Sertoma Secretary Kay Derry said.
"Just look at the turnout. It's awesome," Derry said as she looked at the dozens of children who showed up to walk in the Kiddie Parade. "Not everyone goes to the lake, so we just like doing a family event."
The festivities bring a lot of people into the downtown area for most of the day. The Kiddie Parade at 11:30 a.m. was the kickoff event for Sertoma's festival, though the Altru Family YMCA first held a Firecracker Fun Run and Walk in the morning along the Greenway. Rain delayed the 5K and 10K events, but it was 80 degrees with slight wind and partially sunny skies by noon.
The Kiddie Parade gives children a chance to march down North Third Avenue toward town square as crowds lining the streets cheer them on. Children dressed in red, white and blue walked or rode on bikes, in wagons and in toy vehicles, smiling and waving to eager onlookers.
The activities continued into the afternoon with musical bands playing in town square. Sertoma also invited a multitude of vendors to serve food and provide entertainment, including a magician, inflatable games and a watermelon feed.
Sertoma has hosted Independence Day activities in Grand Forks for about two decades, but the annual fireworks show as been the club's main event for 60 years, Derry said. The pyrotechnics display brings hundreds of spectators to the downtown area every year—they often line the Greenway, downtown streets and parking ramps to get a good view.
Money raised by Sertoma's raffles is given back to community groups, Derry said. This year, proceeds from one raffle will go to Better Understanding of Down Syndrome, or BUDS. Funds raised by a separate 50/50 raffle will go toward the Grand Forks Veterans Memorial Park.