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WATCH NOW: Potato Bowl Parade brings out UND spirit, showers of candy

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The crowd at the Potato Bowl parade watch as USD's marching band strolls down DeMers Avenue. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald 2 / 10
The crowd listen as the Grand Forks Central marching band perform at the intersection of third street North and DeMers Avenue at Saturday's Potato Bowl parade. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald3 / 10
Tom and Claudette Zimney get their 1936 chevy ready for the Potato Bowl parade Saturday morning. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald4 / 10
President Mark Kennedy and his wife Debbie wave to the crowd as they walk the Potato Bowl parade Saturday morning. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald5 / 10
Roselyn Urness (left), Bill Boner,Steve Benson and Reg Urness of the Disabled American Veterans, Andy Nomland Chapter, Chapter 2 of Grand Forks pose for a photo in their 1931 Ford Model A Roadster before Saturday's Potato Bowl parade. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald6 / 10
Sarah Schreiner,10 (left) and Myah Robertson,8 dance to the UND marching band during the Potato Bowl parade as it heads down DeMers Avenue. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald7 / 10
Red River's marching band horn section march in formation during Saturday's Potato Bowl parade. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald 8 / 10
Head trombone of the UND marching band Garrett Heidelberger (center) directs the rest of the trombone section from the center of the circle during warm up before the Potato Bowl parade Saturday morning in Grand Forks. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald9 / 10
Children in the crowd wave at the Grand Forks Fire truck and the firefighters up in the bucket at Saturday's Potato Bowl parade on DeMers Avenue in Grand Forks. Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald10 / 10

The candy flew through the air Saturday morning in the Grand Forks area as thousands filled the streets for the 51st Potato Bowl USA Parade.

More than 100 entries cruised down DeMers Avenue in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks as paradegoers filled the sidewalks in the two cities' downtowns, all in anticipation for the UND Fighting Hawks to face the University of South Dakota Coyotes later that day during the Potato Bowl at the Alerus Center.

The parade kicked off at 10:30 a.m. with Grand Marshal Tom Campbell leading the way. Campbell was a fitting choice for the parade's leader since the state senator from Grafton, N.D., is the co-founder of Campbell Farms, a company that grows and sells potatoes.

Campbell was followed shortly after by UND President Mark Kennedy and his wife, Debbie, both walking as they waved to a cheering crowd.

After UND's marching band played the school's fight song, the streets soon filled with the Kem Shriners of Grand Forks, the organizers of this year's parade. Cars seemed to defy laws of nature as they drove sidesway, drifting from one side of the road to the other. Motorcyclists pulled off well-timed maneuvers, weaving in and out of formations to impress the crowd.

The two-hour long parade featured cars, floats, walkers, local school bands and, of course, showers of candy. Children eagerly awaited the treats as they waved to passersby. When the candy did come, it was a battle for sweets.

But everyone appeared to be in high spirits, ready to cheer on UND. And if nothing else, parade attendees went home with plenty of snacks to hold them over for a few days.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers business and political stories. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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