Temperatures flirted with the 100-degree mark Monday evening for the annual Coon Rapids 4th of July celebration parade.
That meant that an abundance of liquids, mostly water, were consumed by parade participants as well as the spectators, young and old alike, that lined the parade route to and from Sand Creek Park.
The parade, which was sponsored by the Coon Rapids North Star Lions Club, numbered some 70 units.
It left Sand Creek Park on 113th Avenue promptly at 6 p.m. traveling east to Kumquat Street, then north to Northdale Boulevard before heading west on Northdale back to the park.
The parade featured two bands – Coon Rapids High School Marching Band and Forest Lake Junior High School Band – as well as numerous floats, including Coon Rapids Snowflake Days and royalty from other communities, like East Bethel, St. Francis, New Brighton and Northeast Minneapolis.
And this being an election year there were plenty of politicians promoting their campaigns for elective office.
But leading the parade was the Coon Rapids Police Department’s newest squad car, driven by Officer Stephen Beberg.
The Dodge Charger had only been delivered to the department Monday morning, the day of the parade, and had just 99 miles on the clock, according to Beberg.
It is one of six new marked squad cars that the city has purchased this year to replace the Ford Crown Victoria vehicles, which have been the squad car staple for the department for many years, but are no longer being made, Beberg said.
The department has purchased two Dodge Chargers, two Ford Interceptors and two Ford sedans and will try them all out to determine which model fits the department’s needs best and that vehicle will be bought as replacement squad cars in future years, he said.
The police department closed neighborhood streets surrounding the parade route south of Northdale, east of Sand Creek Park, north of 113th Avenue and west of Kumquat Street from 5:45 to 8 p.m. Monday night.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]