Plans for Cloquet July Fourth festivities take shapeThe fuse may be running short for the Cloquet’s Fourth of July Veterans Celebration planning committee as they see a decline in donations and volunteers this year. With two and a half weeks left until Independence Day, the committee still needs monetary support and manpower. Despite these setbacks, committee members are hopeful and looking forward to this year’s festivities.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
The fuse may be running short for the Cloquet’s Fourth of July Veterans Celebration planning committee as they see a decline in donations and volunteers this year. With two and a half weeks left until Independence Day, the committee still needs monetary support and manpower. Despite these setbacks, committee members are hopeful and looking forward to this year’s festivities.
“Hopefully everything goes smoothly,” said event coordinator Lisa Karulak, who has been planning the city’s Fourth of July celebration for the past nine years. “We hope people come out and get involved in our community.”
“We’re looking for a good turn out and good weather,” said Jim Nelson, who has volunteered alongside Karulak for five years.
The group needs to raise $12,000 to cover the paid units in the parade, bands in the park, the outdoor theater, fireworks and other activities. “We’re scraping this year,” Karulak said, “It’s very different than other years.”
With the lack of funding, the committee had to cut back on activities and some parade attendants, much to the displeasure of Karulak.
“[We] want to add things in, but [we] don’t have the funding to do it,” she said.
The committee is selling buttons for $1 to help with these costs, and they can be purchased at some area businesses such as L&M Supply and the Pine Journal.
The support of groups such as the Kiwanis Club of Cloquet is much appreciated. The group is sponsoring the North Shore Scenic Train Rides as well as the showing of “Marmaduke” for the movie in the park, which is the most popular event of the day.
“Thank God for Kiwanis,” Karulak said. They feel “blessed” by their support, Nelson added.
Volunteers are needed as well to pull off the many activities.
“It’s a big challenge,” Nelson said. “If we could get more people to divide out the load, it would be so much easier. We need manpower.”
Volunteers are needed to help out with activities or hand out tickets on July Fourth.
Despite a number of cutbacks, there have been some additions to the day’s festivities. Veterans Park will be full of music, food and fun throughout the day. The list of food vendors include Teeny Weeny Donuts, the B&B Food Wagon, foot long hotdogs and corndogs, subs from Erbert and Gerbert’s as well as pizza from various local restaurants. Musical acts include the bands St. Anyway, Diet Folk and the youth music group All About Music. Robert the Magician will also perform two shows in the afternoon and evening.
There will be train rides available for $2 per ticket; the Steam Engine will be loading at the Cloquet terminal. Helicopter rides will also be available for $35 for adults and children over 12, children 12 and under ride for free.
The annual veterans celebration parade will begin at 11 a.m., with lineup starting at 10:30 a.m.
“Come down and have fun and buy a button to support this,” Nelson said.
The committee is open to suggestions for future years. If you have a suggestion, would like to make a donation or volunteer your time, contact Lisa Karulak at 218-390-3789, Jim Nelson at 879-4994 or John Badger at 879-0397.
Start the day with a run
Registration for the first-ever Cloquet Sawdust 5K is ongoing. The race will begin and end at Pinehurst Park at 8 a.m. July 4. Runners get T-shirts and there will be prizes for age-division winners, plus the swimming pond will be open to runners and their families after the race is complete.
To register, go to www.lenochiropractic.com and click on the Sawdust 5K tab to print a registration form.
Entry fee is $15 until July 2 and $20 July 3-4. Drop off or send registration to 123 Avenue C, Cloquet, MN 55720.
For questions, call Jeff Leno at 218-310-4271.