Fourth of July parade in jeopardy of cuts

Legion needs $10,000 to hit budget

 

A parade entrant spreads Independence Day cheer in 2012. This year’s 89th annual event may include the fewest units in recent years. (File photo)

A parade entrant spreads Independence Day cheer in 2012. This year’s 89th annual event may include the fewest units in recent years. (File photo)

Clint Riese
News Editor

What’s a parade without clowns or marching bands? Without a late funding push for the Legion’s Independence Day celebration, Forest Lake may soon find out.

Post 225 is short on cash for the Fourth of July parade that will highlight the 89th annual festival. The celebration’s budget of about $30,000 is about $10,000 short, meaning commitments to paid entertainers that help to make the parade regionally famous may be broken.

“We’ve got them lined up,” Legion Commander Krista Goodyear said. “They might be really upset with us, and which one do you pick?”

Ideally, another $15,000 would come in, allowing the Legion to continue its practice of spilling a few thousand dollars over for next year’s budget.

Dollars raised last year are included in this year’s total, and fundraising events have been on par with past totals.

It’s the parade applications that are down. Goodyear last Thursday counted only 55 paid applications. The parade had 175 units last year. The parade lineup is scheduled to be set in about a week, and Goodyear usually has 70-100 units in place at that time.

“We don’t even have enough parade units to separate the bands now,” Goodyear said. “I just think because of the weather, no one’s thinking of the Fourth of July.”

New incentives this year are $250 cash prizes for the top professional and amateur floats.

Sponsorship dollars have also been slow to trickle in. The annual donation letter went out to businesses last week.

“Even $50, $100, it all helps,” Goodyear said.

There are several smaller ways residents can help the cause. American flags are being sold at the Legion, 355 W. Broadway Ave., and the Post 225 Ladies Auxiliary will sell event buttons. Also, two key fundraisers remain.

The Red, White and Blue Bike Run is on tap this Saturday, June 15. Registration starts at 10 a.m. at Post 225 and the ride departs at noon. It ends back at the Legion at 5 p.m. for dinner and entertainment. The ride costs $20 per driver and $10 per passenger.

Friar Tuck’s annual dumpster hot tub party is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 29. It features a bikini contest and a disc jockey.

The Independence Day Celebration will run from Wednesday, July 3, through Sunday, July 7. The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 4.

Goodyear said to expect a few new wrinkles, such as different carnival rides and the addition of family events held under the bingo tent when the game is not in session.

Those seeking to donate should contact Goodyear at krich12@frontiernet.net or stop by the Legion.

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