An estimated 30,000 people showed up for the Fourth of July parade in Brainerd. Contrast that with last year’s parade, which had been moved to Baxter due to road construction in Brainerd, and the severe weather that greeted paradegoers and fireworks views last year.
This year the celebration went off without so much as a drop of rain from Mother Nature.
Center stage through it all was American pride. Children on up through our military veterans of the Great War exhibited their pride in our nation’s independence.
A few old timers were on hand July 4 to experience a vintage 1929 Ford Tri-Motor aircraft that had been a showcase back in the year it was made. In fact, one old timer recalled being at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport when a new Ford Tri-Motor plane drew a crowd from the hinterlands of Crow Wing County.
Of course there were parades all around the lakes area. Nisswa kicked off the celebration on July 3. Crosslake, Pequot Lakes, Little Falls, Aitkin, Crosby, and other towns that make up this great area strutted with pride as floats wound through the streets of each town.
Family get-togethers were all around. Some families celebrate the nation’s day of independence with picnics, golf outings, boating, fishing and just relaxing on one of the region’s pristine lakes.
Friends from the Twin Cities and other parts of the Gopher State joined in the celebration. In fact, with the volume of traffic that began to clog area roadways on Saturday, one would have thought that the economic woes of the last few years were behind us.
Restaurants in the lakes area were once again taking reservations or informing late arrivals that the wait was over an hour.
In Cass County alone, the economic impact of tourism has grown 47 percent from 2000 to 2011. That’s the kind of growth our area needs to see the remainder of this decade.
There really was something to celebrate this Independence Day — America remains strong and vibrant.
The quality of independence was almost wholly left out of the human race. The scattering exceptions to the rule only emphasize it, light it up, make it glare. Mark Twain