It was a fantastic day to celebrate the Fourth of July in Birchdale.

A multitude of floats started to line up in Audrey’s Yard where the parade route starts. From there it goes past the Nelson’s General Store, where people began lining up for a good spot to watch from on the front porch, and over to the community building where the parade turns around and goes back again.

Floats were lined up for a quarter of a mile down the highway plus all over the yard waiting for the parade to begin.

The Minnesota State Patrol went in the lead followed by the Honor Guard, the Fort Frances Highlanders, the Birchdale fire truck and then a multitude of children on bikes and in electric toy cars. The rest of the parade followed.

This year’s theme was, “Celebrating Our Armed Service Branches,” and the floats were great and there was a lot of flags everywhere. Spectators were treated to semi-trucks colored red, white and blue following each other. There was farm equipment, floats to honor military personnel, classic cars, tractors, wheelers and much more.

Following the parade, everyone gathered at the flagpole and said the Pledge of Allegiance and then announced the parade winning floats. The floats this year were exceptionally great and people really tried to honor the service branches with their floats.

First place went to the Sloughgrass band with its M.A.S.H themed floats honoring military medical personnel. It featured a field hospital followed by a helicopter with medics shuttling the injured between the two. Second place went to the Imes Family, they had a World War II theme where the Americans stormed a German bunker. Third Place went to Holger and Casey’s float depicting the “Andrew Sisters Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” with them dancing on top of a jeep full of military clad young people. Fourth Place was taken by the Zack and Christie Hasbargen family, walking with their two great dane’s and several signs including one patriotic decorated one saying “DOG Bless the USA.” Fifth Place went to Mai Logging and their semi-truck flatbed decorated with white crosses and signs saying “Some Gave All” and “All Gave Some.” Honorable mention went to the only “tank” with a cannon in the parade operated by Kerry Meyers and Aiden Smith.

Following the World’s Greatest Potluck at the Birchdale Community Building there were games outside on the ball diamond. All children present also received prizes for attending and there were guessing games, drawings for door prizes and free ice-cream for all. The No. 1 fun game of the day was wrestling with your peer group while trying to get a watermelon greased in Crisco outside a marked area, made even harder by the mud from water provided by the Birchdale Fire Department.

The community had a wonderful day celebrating America’s Independence Day. Organizers are very pleased with the turnout and totally in awe of how much effort the participants put into building their floats. Everyone is invited to come to Birchdale on July 4, 2020, the parade will start at 11 a.m.

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