Newly named Blaine Festival kicks off this weekend

Blaine’s two-part summer celebration returns to Aquatore Park this weekend with three days of summer festival fun and event-ending fireworks July 4.

Past Blaine’s Blazin’ Fourth royalty rode in style aboard this red, white and blue float last year’s parade. This year’s Blaine Festival parade along Jefferson Street kicks off at noon this Saturday. File photo by Tim Hennagir

Past Blaine’s Blazin’ Fourth royalty rode in style aboard this red, white and blue float last year’s parade. This year’s Blaine Festival parade along Jefferson Street kicks off at noon this Saturday. File photo by Tim Hennagir

Formerly known as Blaine’s Blazin’ 4th, the newly named Blaine Festival kicks off June 22-24 with a full schedule of events that includes a carnival, car show, softball tournament, petting zoo, live street dances, magic and entertainment shows, helicopter rides, kid games, craft and business vendors and festival food.

As usual, parking and all street dances and shows are free. In addition to the carnival, there will be many activities for kids and adults throughout the weekend.

According to Blaine Festival committee member Tom Wegschied, the carnival will run Friday evening to Sunday evening.

The annual softball tournament and helicopter rides will take place Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Back again this year is the “Cruzin’ into Summer” Car Show, set for Sunday.

The festival fun kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. Headlining the street dance will be Jonah and the Whales. The group is scheduled to play from 7 to 11 p.m.

Saturday offers a variety of entertainment for the residents of the Blaine area. At the park, the carnival, crafter and vendors, and food stands will open around 10 a.m.

The noon parade starts at Jefferson Street and 117th Avenue N.E., travels south on Jefferson to Territorial Road and ends by Madison Elementary School.

New this year is entertainer and magician Kevin Hall, a prior summer semifinalist on “America’s Got Talent.” Hall been entertaining nationwide on cruises, casinos and fairs. He is scheduled to do three magic shows Saturday (4, 6:30  and 8 p.m.) and three shows Sunday (noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m.).

Within Aquatore Park, kids can enjoy the carnival, petting zoo, Games2U mobile theater (computer games) and other kid games throughout the park.

Adults and kids can enjoy the magic shows during the afternoon, or they can sit back and enjoy music by Cloud 10 (classic rock and roll) starting at 11:30 a.m..

The Mr. Winky band, featuring country and rock, will follow Cloud 10 starting at 3:30 p.m.

Headlining Saturday’s street dance will be country recording artist Rockie Lynne, who has had 14 Grand Ole Opry appearances and four chart singles.

Lynne will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. and perform until 11:30 p.m.

The festival continues on Sunday with a church service at 10 a.m.

The service will be hosted by Fridley Covenant Church. Around 9 a.m., the classic vehicles will start rolling in for the car show, which is scheduled until 3:30 p.m. At noon, the Rockin’ Hollywoods will take the stage and are scheduled to play until 4 p.m.

The opening weekend of the Blaine Festival concludes Sunday at 4 p.m.

Fourth of July holiday events include an 8:30 a.m. U.S. flag-raising ceremony at Blaine City Hall, 10801 Town Square Drive N.E., followed by The Lakes 8K Run and 4K Walk For the House scheduled at Lakeside Commons Park, 3020 Lakes Parkway N.E.

Registration forms, driving directions and results will be posted at www.blaineparks.com under special events. All race proceeds go to Alexandra House.

Finally, the annual fireworks spectacular is scheduled for Wednesday, July 4 at 10 p.m. immediately following the NSC Minnesota Stars soccer match at the National Sports Center (NSC).

The Blaine Festival Committee is made up of Blaine community volunteers and operates as a not-for-profit.

Each year, the festival is held the fourth full weekend in June as well as the day and evening July 4. Additional information can be obtained by contacting info@blainefestival.org.

For more information, visit www.blainefestival.org for a parade map as well as the latest information on 2012 festival events.

Tim Hennagir is at tim.hennagir@ecm-inc.com


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