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Cloquet Fourth of July preparations well under way

Cloquet Eagles Club President Jim Putnam remembers going to the Fourth of July fireworks in Cloquet as a kid. "That's a long time ago," said the recently-turned-60 area resident. It's a tradition that Putnam and other Eagles members think should ...

Cloquet Eagles Club President Jim Putnam remembers going to the Fourth of July fireworks in Cloquet as a kid.

"That's a long time ago," said the recently-turned-60 area resident.

It's a tradition that Putnam and other Eagles members think should continue. Club members are putting their money where their mouth is, he said, by footing the bill for this year's fireworks display to the tune of $5,000.

The Eagles aren't the only organization or business involved in making the city's Fourth of July festivities a reality, according to Lisa Karulak, who's been organizing the celebration for seven years.

"Things are going pretty well," Karulak said. "We are getting help from the Kiwanis - who are sponsoring the Movie in the Park - and the Eagles, plus we've gotten other donations from Sappi, the tourism department at the Cloquet Chamber and several others, including the Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee.

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It's kind of a team project, she said, one that isn't funded by any taxpayer money.

"Everything is solely off donations," she said, noting that the Fourth of July is basically a six-month volunteer gig for her. "The city doesn't help with costs; neither do any other area communities. I send off about 170 letters every spring, and things slowly start to happen.You do what you can do. Thank goodness for the Eagles and the Kiwanis and other local businesses stepping up."

The calendar of events is filling up quickly, starting with a street dance the evening of July 3 when Backlash will perform outside Cheers bar and The Jury will hold court at the Northeastern Saloon and Grill.

Events on the Fourth begin with the parade at noon (participants are asked to line up at 11:30 a.m.), which is an hour later than most years because the holiday falls on a Sunday.

"People don't need to sign up to be in the parade, but we usually get a good turnout," Karulak said, adding that people can call her at 218-390-3789 with questions or to get lineup instructions. "It's basically first-there, first-in-line."

Throughout the afternoon, there will be music, food vendors, crafters, a moon walk and other entertainment at Veterans Park, including magic shows at 3 and 7:30 p.m., a "Nifty-Fifty" car show at the Northeastern and possibly North Shore Scenic Train rides. Kids ages 1-12 can "dash for cash" at 2 p.m. There will also be a chain saw carver and helicopter rides ($25 a person when two people travel).

At 1:15 p.m. Blue Light Special will play, followed by Saint Anyway at 3:30 p.m. and Blackberry at 5 p.m.

This year's Movie in the Park, "Spiderwick Chronicles," starts at 8:15 p.m., followed by the fireworks at approximately 10:10 p.m.

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To help defray the costs, Eagles members are selling $10 raffle tickets and planning a golf scramble Aug. 7 at Pine Hill Golf, when the winning tickets will be drawn. To purchase a ticket, contact an Eagles Club member or stop by Cheers on Cloquet Avenue or Lost Tavern in Scanlon anytime through the first week of August.

"It's a good cause," Putnam said. "It's been a tradition in Cloquet for I-don't-know-how-many years."

Related Topics: CLOQUETFAMILY
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