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Cloquet plans fun on the Fourth

More than one out-of-town visitor to Cloquet's July Fourth festivities has commented on the delightfully small-town nature of the day, from the parade to the pie-eating contest and wiffleball games, to the outdoor movie and fireworks at night. Wh...

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More than one out-of-town visitor to Cloquet's July Fourth festivities has commented on the delightfully small-town nature of the day, from the parade to the pie-eating contest and wiffleball games, to the outdoor movie and fireworks at night.

While this year's event promises more of the same family fun for everyone, organizers are also hoping to appeal to other demographics, particularly those who enjoy watching good music in the great outdoors.

The live music will kick off by the picnic shelter at Veterans Park starting at noon, with The Very Mysterious, followed by The Jury at 2:15 p.m., Woodblind at 4:30 p.m. and the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank headlining from 6:45-8:45 p.m.

There will be beer for sale, in addition to corn dogs, doughnuts, cheese curds, ice cream, burgers, brats, egg rolls and other fare.

Coordinator Alyson Leno said the volunteer committee decided to put more money into the music to make sure the day-long activities really do offer something for everyone.

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"Families know that Cloquet has all kinds of things for kids to do on the Fourth, but we wanted people to know that our celebration isn't just for kids - it's for everyone, no matter what age," Leno said.

Runners and walkers can begin the day early with the Sawdust 5K at 8 a.m. in and around Pinehurst Park, where racers can proactively burn calories before indulging in all the best kinds of fair food later in the day.

A 1-mile run down the parade route on Cloquet Avenue begins at 10:40 a.m., kicking off the Veterans Celebration Parade and a military flyover at 11 a.m.

After the parade, revelers are encouraged to stroll down to Veterans Park, stopping at the fire station to grab a free root beer float on the way.

Post-parade activities at Veterans Park include many free things to do: bouncy castles, family games like a water balloon toss, water slides and sprinklers, face painting, a pie-eating contest and more from noon to late afternoon.

Don't miss the Dash for Cash, when children ages 12 and younger dig through sand for quarters donated by several area banks and credit unions, starting at 12:45 near the parking lot. There's also bingo and a craft show.

There is more going on just over the bridge at Dunlap Island. The Northeastern Saloon and Hotel will host a car show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Swiftwater Adventures is renting paddle boards and kayaks on the St. Louis River. Cloquet Terminal Railroad have a train there from noon to 3 p.m.

Further afield, The Beach in Pinehurst Park is holding a pool party from noon to 3 p.m. And the Carlton County Historical Society - a short walk across Cloquet Avenue from Veterans Park - will begin the Harrington Accordion Museum and Arts Center accordion concert at 4 p.m. featuring music from 1918. Admission is $3.

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Because the Fourth fell on a Wednesday, Stipes Carnival will not make it to Cloquet this year. However, that opened up space for helicopter rides in that space at $49 per passenger.

The wagon/trolley rides between Veterans and Pinehurst parks are also canceled this year. Still, most events are within walking distance of one another and there are handicapped parking spots in the parking lot.

Other than the music, most activities in Veterans Park take a break for supper and a trip home for lawn chairs and bug spray. The evening's entertainment commences at 7 p.m. with the free Amazing Charles Magic Show and free balloon animals, followed by an outdoor movie, "Sherlock Gnomes," at 8:45 p.m. and the fireworks just after 10 p.m.

Leno said she's still happy to take donations or enlist badly needed volunteers. She can be reached at the Chamber at 218-879-1551.

Find a complete schedule of activities on Page A12.

Related Topics: CLOQUET
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