From one of the best parades in years to festivities at Pither’s Point Park, the throng of people who celebrated Canada Day here Saturday truly were having “Fun in the Sun.”
Following the Business Improvement Area’s Mall Days last Thursday and then the annual Teddy Bear Picnic on Friday at the Fort Frances Public Library, Fun in the Sun 2000 culminated July 1 with a long line of events, starting with a pancake breakfast at the Legion.
Then hundreds lined Scott Street to watch the Canada Day parade, which featured 48 floats and other participants—more than there has been in the past couple of years.
“It went excellent. I was very pleased with the way it turned out, and the turnout that came to see it,” said parade co-ordinator Dawn Booth. “And I haven’t heard any negative remarks about it.”
The four marching bands—hailing from Eveleth, Northome, Bemidji State University, and Proctor, Mn.—added a lot to people’s enjoyment of the parade, she noted.
Also unusual was the fact three of the four prize-winning floats went to Fun in the Sun Queen contestants. Shailynn McMahon won $150 for having the best overall float while Amy Flatt took home $100 for sporting the best Canada Day float.
Nicole Rogozinski earned $100 for having the best theme float, and youngster Riley Kellar received $50 for the best individual float.
After the parade, more than a thousand people flocked to Pither’s Point, where the afternoon was filled with everything from the crowning of FITS Queen Nicole Jewell to the Prior Lake Water-ski Show.
“The July 1 activities were A-1,” enthused FITS chairman Paul Bock. “I’ve heard nothing but good reports—the [inflatable] slide was popular, and the shows were popular.”
Other activities included the bathtub races, a giant water trampoline provided by Pinewood Sports & Marine, and a visit by Franklin the Turtle.
And while some had mixed reviews of the fireworks display, which happened shortly after 10 p.m., fireworks supervisor Charlie Turgeon noted there were no “duds” and, in fact, it was bigger than last year’s.
“There was a little delay initially because of the wind interfering with our electrical ignition system but after that, it went well,” he said.
“We used a new type of shell—an aquatic shell—which runs parallel to the surface of the water for about 100 feet, then dives down and, after a delay, shoots back out of the water and explodes,” he explained.
Bock said he also felt the fireworks were “better than last year.”
He added much of the credit should go to one of Fun in the Sun’s major organizers, Laurie Beadle, who could not be reached for comment before press time.