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Boat parades and fireworks to mark July 4

From boat parades hosted by area lake associations, to Frazee's second annual Family FreedomFest, to Detroit Lakes' annual fireworks spectacular on the city beach, this Wednesday's Fourth of July Independence Day festivities will provide holiday fun-seekers with plenty of variety.

The annual Lake Melissa/Sallie Association's July 4th Boat Parades begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Lake Melissa boats are to congregate at Shoreham; Lake Sallie's at the Maloney/Michaelson residence. Boats will proceed counterclockwise around the two lakes. About 80 decorated boats of all kinds will be participating. Traveling trophies will be awarded in various categories of decorations, for both boats and people.

The Lake Seven (Frazee) Boat Parade is set for 11 a.m. Hazel Mickelson, the first organizer of the Lake Seven Boat Parade, is the 2007 Grand Marshall. You can enter your boat in the parade whether you decorate your boat or not. Boats should be in parade formation at the Public Access on the north shore of Lake Seven at least 5 minutes before the start of the parade. The Lake Seven Lake Association will be awarding over $150 in prizes.

Then the action shifts to the Frazee Lions Park, which is gearing up to host the second annual Family FreedomFest. Starting with a patriotic program at 2 p.m., the festivities will also include a watermelon-eating contest at 4 p.m., tug-of-war at 6 p.m., a balloon toss, guessing games and lots of old-fashioned fun. There will also be a silent basket auction to raise funds for community the fireworks show, which begins at dusk. There is no admission charge for the event, which is co-hosted by the Frazee Lions Club and the Frazee Area Community Club.

The Detroit Lakes City Beach will once again be the site of DL's annual July 4 Fireworks Display, which also begins at dusk.

According to Mark Fritz, who is one of the organizers of the annual event, this year's show will literally be bigger than ever.

"We added some decking to the barge (where the fireworks are set off), allowing us more room," Fritz said. "We will be able to have more large cannons than in the last few years. It's going to be a great show."

Other events taking place on Wednesday include the conclusion of the sixth annual Volleyball Beach Blast at DL's Snappy Park, which begins Tuesday; a dance at the DL Pavilion, hosted by the DL Eagles Club (there will also be a dance on Tuesday); a baseball game featuring the DL Angels vs. the Frazee Flames, starting at 7:30 p.m. in DL's Washington Ballpark; and live music by Scarlet Haze at the Lakeside Tavern, from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.

Lakeside Tavern will also be offering live concerts on Tuesday, July 3, featuring Trip Wire; and Thursday, July 5, featuring nationally-known rock bands Warrant and Firehouse.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454