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Bust to Boom

Fourth blends to Fifth after rain

Cloquet rebounded from a fairly disastrous July Fourth by making the most of July Fifth: holding a last-minute stand-still parade Tuesday evening before the movie and fireworks to make up for the canceled parade on Monday.

Cloquet Fourth festival co-coordinator Ivan Hohnstadt said the idea for the stand-still parade came to him late, after a cold and wet July Fourth that saw the parade canceled and the movie and fireworks postponed to Tuesday. He emailed committee members at 1 a.m. and called city officials Tuesday morning to get permission. From then on, it was a mad scramble.

Although not every parade entrant could make it, more than half lined up along Avenue B, next to Veterans Park. Police shut down the street and the crowds came, walking past the floats, collecting candy and other giveaways.

They talked to politicians, enjoyed music, checked out the fire truck and enjoyed the community interaction.

As the sun went down, even more crowds came for the outdoor showing of "The Peanuts Movie" and the grand finale of what became a two-day affair: the fireworks show over the St. Louis River.

They were treated to an unusual show thanks to low-lying clouds, which meant the individual fireworks looked like watercolor paintings when they exploded above the cloudline, turning the entire sky red, green and other colors when they hit just right.

Sixteen-month-old O'Zariian Martineau was delighted with the fireworks. Sitting on his father's shoulders, the baby half-screamed, half-squealed each time the colorful displays exploded, bouncing up and down with a huge smile. "He was really excited," said his dad, George Martineau.

The crowd filled more than half of Veterans Memorial Park and the surrounding hillside, sitting in chairs or spread out on blankets. They were dressed for the weather - wearing hoodies, flannels and more blankets - but at least it was dry. There was popcorn, ice cream, mini donuts and more to be eaten. There were toys to be purchased, glow-in-the-dark swords, glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets to be stacked on the necks and arms of young children.

When the grand finale went off, the crowd showed its appreciation with oohhs and aahhs, and applause. It was the end of a long two-day affair that also included events to celebrate the Fourth on the Fourth, including the Sawdust 5K (see Page 11 for more) a car show and live music at the Northeastern Hotel, Saloon and Grille, and an afternoon of family fun at Veterans Park on Monday, which saw temperatures in the 50s and the occasional rain shower.

A giant, very local blast of lightning, ominous radar and a predicted storm led to the cancellation of the parade Monday morning. Co-coordinator Jana Peterson said she made the call after a conversation with a meteorologist and seeing lightning.

"We had kids on metal trailers and people walking around putting flagpoles up - I went for safety over tradition," Peterson said.

Things at the park picked up as the afternoon went on and the rain slowed down. A sizable group of middle school students on a YouthWorks mission trip to the Northland kept things going Monday afternoon, volunteering to apply temporary tattoos, manning the bouncies, conducting numerous activities with water balloons and providing manpower that would have otherwise been missing.

A midafternoon shower sent people scurrying to the picnic shelter, where they found YouthWorks and the temporary tattoos and Amazing Charles making balloon animals. People could try juggling and unicycles at the Circus Family Fun station and the reduced number of children at the Dash for Cash made bank, digging quarters out of the wet sand.

"Those who came to the park seemed determined to have fun, regardless of the weather," Hohnstadt said. "We just hope they come back tomorrow for more fun ... and better weather."

The cities of Duluth and Superior both postponed their July Fourth fireworks as well, with Duluth fireworks rescheduled for Friday and Superior at a date still to be determined.

Evan Hohnstadt, one of three coordinators for the event, summed up this year's July Fourth with a quote from writer Michael Chabon: "Man makes plans ... and God laughs."


Basketball tourney reset

With cold temperatures and wet weather Monday, the July Fourth 3-on-3 basketball tournament was rescheduled for Saturday, July 9 at Pinehurst Park, when it should be at least 15 degrees warmer and partly sunny, according to the forecast.

The double-elimination tournament is for all ages, said organizer Paul Cameron, noting that they saw more middle school teams come out in addition to the older players last year. Each team can have four players. There is no cost to play, but T-shirts will be available for purchase at the event to help pay for the event.

This is the third annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament, an idea dreamed up by the Cloquet graduate and friends because they just loved the city's courts at Pinehurst so much.

There will be awards for "best youngins," tournament champs, tournament MVP and "most drip," Cameron said. "That could be the way they play, or the way they show up and dress."

Find out more via Instagram @pinehurstcourts or on Facebook at https://fb.me/e/26nU1UXBC. Leave a message to register.