July Fourth donations start off with a bang
Although long-time organizers Lisa Karulak and Jim Nelson stepped down earlier this spring, planning for this year's July Fourth event started off on a positive note with the news that SKB Shamrock Environmental landfill, which owns and operates ...
Although long-time organizers Lisa Karulak and Jim Nelson stepped down earlier this spring, planning for this year's July Fourth event started off on a positive note with the news that SKB Shamrock Environmental landfill, which owns and operates the new industrial landfill in Cloquet, has offered to match up to $5,000 in July Fourth donations.
SKB Vice President John Domke said the company already contributes financially to the Leprechaun Days celebration in Rosemount, Minn., and they were looking for a way to start getting involved in Cloquet.
"We thought it would be a nice thing to do, being new in the community," said Rich Gersdorf, owner of Shamrock Environmental.
"We also thought it would encourage other businesses to step up and make this event even better," Domke said.
Some donations from other sources are already rolling in. The Cloquet Tourism Committee approved a $1,000 grant for the festivities at its April 10 meeting, while the Cloquet Noontime Kiwanis Club has already agreed to sponsor the very popular Movie in the Park, immediately before the fireworks.
"It's not often a person can immediately double a donation," volunteer and Members Cooperative Credit Union Vice President Ryanne Battaglia said. "With Shamrock matching every donation, we're hoping this year's festivities will be exciting and fun for the whole family."
Although the Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, the half dozen people organizing this year's events are betting that's a good thing because folks are less likely to leave town for a three- or four-day weekend at the cabin.
"We're hoping more people will decide to stay in town and take full advantage of what's happening right here in Cloquet," said Jen Blatchford of the Cloquet Area Chamber and Tourism Office.
Only one day? Then spend it in Cloquet.
Organizers are also arranging for special (free) July Fourth transportation between the different events: tractor-pulled wagons will travel a circuit between Dunlap Island and Pinehurst Park, with several stops along the way.
Long-time volunteer John Badger said preparations are going well, thanks in large part to past years' work by Karulak and Nelson.
"We're adding to their legacy," he said.
Activities planned for this year's festivities include the following:
- The second annual Sawdust 5K run, organized and sponsored by Jeff and Alyson Leno of Leno Chiropractic, which begins at 8 a.m. July 4 in Pinehurst Park and ends there with an optional (and free) swim at The Beach. They are currently looking for local sponsors and food donors. Find out about the race and registration at www.lenochiropractic.com/sawdust5k , on Facebook or by calling Jeff at 218-310-4271.
- The Veterans Celebration Parade in downtown Cloquet, starting at 11 a.m., to be followed by a patriotic event at Veterans Park at noon. Contact the Chamber with questions.
- Music, children's activities, food vendors, crafts, skateboard demonstrations, Dash for Cash and more throughout the afternoon at Veterans Park (times to be announced). Local bluegrass favorites "Saint Anyway" will kick off the musical lineup, with a number of other local bands to follow.
- The annual Nifty Fifty Cruisers Car Show at the Northeastern Saloon and Grill on Dunlap Island, with beer garden and outside grilling.
- BBQ lunch and then Bingo later at the Moose Lodge.
- The Beach in Pinehurst Park will have games and entertainment that afternoon, for kids of all ages. Contact Community Education at 218-879-1261 to find out more.
- The Movie in the Park starts around 8 p.m.
- Fireworks will blast off at 10:10 p.m.
"We've had several groups step forward to sponsor different events throughout the day, so no single person or entity has to take charge of the entire day," volunteer and Pine Journal Editor Jana Peterson said, following a presentation to the Cloquet City Council Tuesday night. "Now we're hoping more people will step up and volunteer to help during part of the day. No one should have to give up their entire Fourth, but maybe folks will be willing to share an hour or two of their time."
Questions? Want to volunteer? Got a great idea? Email email@example.com or call the Chamber/Tourism office at 218-879-1551. Monetary donations can be directed to the "Cloquet 4th of July Celebration" account at Members Cooperative Credit Union in Cloquet. People are also invited to attend the next organization meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, April 24, in the Cloquet Chamber conference room.