Oh, fabulous Fourth!
While Duluth postponed its Fourth of July celebrations because of a threatening weather forecast, Cloquet's decision to "wait and see" paid off with plenty of sunshine for the midweek celebration of the birth of the USA.
Aside from a brief but windy rainstorm around 9:30 a.m. — during the middle of the Sawdust 5K race awards ceremony — the skies were clear for all Cloquet activities, from the parade at 11 a.m. to the fireworks that night.
After the parade, Veterans Park took center stage, with all kinds of free family-friendly activities, from bounce houses and a slide, to face painting, kids competitions like an ice cube race and water balloon toss, a pie eating contest and the always popular Dash for Cash, where children dig in the sand for quarters donated by local credit unions and banks.
There was live music from noon to sundown, featuring The Very Mysterious, The Jury, Woodblind and the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. In terms of length of activity, the live music was rivaled only by wiffleball, as players of all ages just kept on playing in the corner of the park that once boasted baseball fields.
Northeastern owner Bert Whittington said turnout for the car show was excellent and lots of people watched the fireworks over the St. Louis River there, too.
The crowds were enormous for the outdoor movie and fireworks at Veterans Park.
"I think we probably got a lot of people from Duluth who wanted to celebrate on the Fourth of July," Fourth of July committee coordinator Alyson Leno said. "It was a fantastic day, and it was nice to see so many people celebrating together. What a great community event!"