Five-day Coon Rapids event celebrates the 4th

Coon Rapids’ annual 4th of July celebration kicks off a five-day run at Sand Creek Park tomorrow (Saturday, June 30), concluding Wednesday, July 4 with the annual fireworks display.

And the Coon Rapids North Star Lions Club, which puts on the celebration with the Coon Rapids Firefighters, is hoping that the events lined up for this year will keep people in Coon Rapids, rather than looking farther afield.

“We want this to be a good place for families to come to over the 4th of July,” said John Leggate, Coon Rapids North Star Lions Club member.

In addition, to the normal 4th of July celebration activities – fireworks, midway, bingo/pull tabs, Coon Rapids Youth First Skate Jam and evening parade on Monday, July 2, the parade organizers are bringing back some former attractions as well as launching a new event.

The Crafts at the Creek will be in its second year at the 4th of July celebration June 30 and July 1, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with more than 50 crafters signed up to take part, according to Leggate.

Most of the crafters come from Minnesota, but there are some from Iowa and Wisconsin and one from Branson, Mo., who will be selling leather goods, Leggate said.

Returning this year after a three-year absence is the cars, truck and motorcycle show featuring hot rods and old cars tomorrow (Saturday, June 30), 6 to 11 p.m.

Terry Hedberg of the Coon Rapids North Star Lions Club is in charge of the show, in which there will be a $5 donation to the Anoka County Brotherhood Council (ACBC) Food Shelf to enter, Leggate said.

Back after an even longer absence is entertainment by bands on four of the five nights of the celebration.TC Cats will be performing June 30, Kill A Brew July 1, Splatter Sisters July 2 and Zed Leppelin July 3, all at 7 p.m.

According to Leggate, the Splatter Sisters concert immediately after the parade July 2 is specifically for families with children to attend.

The new event this year is a bean bag tournament July 4 with teams checking in at 9:30 a.m. and the tournament starting at 10 a.m. with pool play and a single elimination bracket.

The tournament is limited to the first 16 paid teams – there is a $25 per team entry fee – and teams can comprise two or four members.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older and there will be prizes for the top two teams, the consolation bracket winner and the team with the best uniform.

The parade, which begins at 6 p.m. Monday, July 2 will have over 70 units, including floats, bands and politicians.

Among the units featured are the Coon Rapids Snowflake Days with Miss Coon Rapids Samantha Phillippi and the Junior Royalty, Coon Rapids High School Marching Band, Powder Puff Clown Club, Forest Lake Junior High School Marching Band and visiting royalty floats as well as Coon Rapids fire and police departments.

The parade will leave Sand Creek Park on 113th Avenue, turn left to head north on Kumquat Street, then take another left to return to Sand Creek Park.

The parade route will necessitate some road closures and detours from about 5:45 to 8 p.m., according to Capt. Cary Parks, Coon Rapids Police Department.

In addition to Northdale being closed from Kumquat to Xeon Street, the neighborhood through which the parade will pass will have street closures from Northdale south to 113th and east to Kumquat, Parks said.

As well, Main Street is closed for reconstruction from Hanson to Foley boulevards and Northdale is the designated detour route, but during the parade, the detour will be switched to 121st Avenue, he said.

The Lions club will be operating the Sand Creek Park concession building throughout the five-day run of the celebration. The menu will include babyback ribs, hot dogs, bratwurst, french fries and new this year, potato swirls, according to Leggate.

In addition, the club will have two beer wagons, one at the concession stand and the other at the firefighters’ bingo and pull tab tent, Leggate said.

“The Coon Rapids North Star Lions Club is all about community service,” said John Thorp, a member who runs the karaoke activity at the 4th of July celebration.

“The karaoke is a chance for people of all ages who like to sing, but don’t get a chance to,” Thorp said.

The club has 35 to 40 members and all the proceeds from the 4th of July celebration plus other club activities go back to the community “to people who need help,” Leggate said.

Indeed, club members have been manning the Sand Creek Park concession stand this spring and summer during softball league games at the park from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, he said.

During the 4th of July celebration, the firefighters will be operating their bingo and pull tab tent daily and they are also in charge of the fireworks display to climax the celebration at 10 p.m. July 4.

“The firefighters and the club have a very good marriage,” Leggate said.

Schedule of events

June 30

11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Crafts at the Creek.

Noon, midway, bingo and pull tabs open.

Noon to 5 p.m., unlimited ride wristbands $20; regular admission after 5 p.m.

6 to 11 p.m., car show.

7 to 9 p.m., skate jam.

7 p.m., TC Cats band concert.

July 1

11 a. m. to 7 p.m., Crafts at the Creek.

Noon, midway, bingo and pull tabs open.

Noon to 5 p.m., unlimited ride wristbands; regular admission after 5 p.m.

7 p.m., Kill a Brew band concert.

July 2

4 p.m., midway opens.

4 to 10 p.m., unlimited ride wristbands $20.

5 p.m., bingo and pull tabs.

6 p.m., parade.

7 p.m., Splatter Sisters band concert.

July 3

4 p.m., midway opens.

4 to 10 p.m., unlimited ride wristbands $20.

5 p.m., bingo and pull tabs.

7 p.m., Zed Leppelin band concert.

July 4 

9:30 a.m., bean bag tournament check-in.

Noon, midway, bingo and pull tabs open.

Noon to 5 p.m., unlimited ride wristbands $20; regular admission after 5 p.m.

6 to 10 p.m., DJ K-FULT Productions.

10 p.m. fireworks.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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