Rain held off and the sun hid behind clouds for Thursday's annual July 4 parade in International Falls. 

The celebration, which recognized the 65th anniversary of the Smokey Bear statute in International Falls, and the 75th anniversary the bear has been used as the icon of the U.S. Forest Service, featured floats, games, food and patriotic fun. 

International Falls Mayor Bob Anderson said he was pleased with the local festivities and predicts crowds were larger this year than they have been in the past. 

"The booths providing novelties and food in the park said the crowds were much larger than they remembered," he said. "Several ran out of food items."

Float winners featured in Thursday's parade are: 

Theme:

  1. International Falls Figure Skating Club
  2. Northern Options for Women
  3. Good Samaritan Society - International Falls

Non-theme: 

  1. Badiuk Equipment 
  2. Falls Education Foundation 
  3. Falls High School football team 

In addition, other events also reported strong participation sealing another strong celebration in Borderland. 

Boat parade

On Rainy Lake, an informal parade saw its largest turnout ever. 

The Grindstone Island boat parade featured 65 boats that gathered near the Mannausau/Roche cabin and made their way around to area resorts. 

The winner of the best boat in the parade went to a boat featuring walleye windsocks made by Deb Ciminski and Martha Enzmann. 

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