Don’t be fooled by road work; parade will go on

FL City Marching Band practice starts this Thursday

Cliff Buchan
News Editor

Don’t be fooled by all the heavy equipment, barricades and detours and utility work that dominates W. Broadway Avenue this month. Forest Lake’s Fourth of July parade will go on as planned.

The Forest Lake City Marching Band, pictured here in its march down Lake Street in front of Kodiak Coffee in 2011, is set to march again this July 4th. Four musical numbers are being considered. (File photo)

American Legion Post 225 Commander Krista Goodyear said this week she’s been given assurances by Washington County that the parade route that starts at 6th Street and proceeds east along W. Broadway will be available.

It is one of the key planning hurdles for the Legion to overcome as it prepares for its 88th annual Independence Day celebration. This year’s festival opens on June 29 and continues through July 4.

Goodyear and other parade planners hope that the road construction isn’t scaring away parade entrants who might be thinking the parade won’t happen this year. Applications for parade spots are down from where they normally would be at this time, she said.

The tentative plan is for the parade route to utilize the north side of the new Broadway Avenue. This will be the first parade that must adjust to center medians that will separate the eastbound and westbound lanes of the county road.

Goodyear said the Legion is encouraging businesses, churches and other organizations that plan to enter the parade to complete their registration now. That will help parade planners get ready for the big day on July 4th.

Parade information is available by calling the Legion at 651-464-2600 or going online to Entry forms can also be picked up at the Legion Post, 355 W. Broadway Ave. Vendor information is also available with the above contacts.

“Freedom — The American Dream” is the theme for this year’s celebration. World War II Army Air Corps veteran Ed Hinrichs of Forest Lake is this year’s parade grand marshal.

Band Practice

One popular parade entrant that is set to go is the Forest Lake City Marching Band.

This summer’s director, Jay Voelker, said this week practice will open this Thursday night for the drum section only, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Post 225.

Practice sessions will continue each Thursday night through Thursday, June 28. All members are asked to be on hand on Thursday, June 14 for a full practice session.

The band marched in 2011 with 75 members, including 65 in the music block.

The Forest Lake City Marching Band originated more than 30 years ago as an alumni band, but is today open to anyone who is interested in marching band and the tradition of the marches that go hand in hand with parades. The band continues to strive to introduce younger marchers to its ranks, Voelker said.

“It’s fun to get together and do the parade for Forest Lake, and for Rollie (former high school band director Rollie Nelson),” Voelker said. “Forest Lake’s parade has always been one of the most fun parades to be in.”

The band will welcome musicians to fill all ranks, including drums, horns and woodwinds. Non-musicians to join the flag section are also welcome, he said.

Anyone interested in joining the marching band can get more information by calling Voelker at 651-433-3328, or by simply showing up at Post 225 on Thursday night for a practice session.

Anniversary Party

Post 225 will also celebrate its 90th anniversary on Friday night with a Roaring 20’s theme. Guests are invited to attend the party dressed as gangsters and flappers in memory of that wild and woolly time in American history.

There will be prizes for the top costumes.

The party starts at 7 p.m. The public is invited.

A chow mein dinner will be served at a cost of $6 a plate.

Post 225 was officially chartered on Jan. 22, 1922.

Post 225 will also be busy on Monday, June 18th when it hosts its membership dinner.

Members of the Legion, Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion, Voiture 44 and the Legion Riders motorcycle club are invited.

Reservations are requested by calling 651-464-2600.