Fourth of July parade and festival return despite the rain

·2 min read

ST. JOSEPH – The rain stopped just in time for those attending the annual Fourth of July parade hosted by the St. Joseph Lions Club.

More than 90 organizations, companies and performers participated in the parade Monday before a scheduled live music performance by Stearns County Dirt and a quilt auction and raffle drawing to raise money for the Church of Saint Joseph.

More:Fireworks and fun this Fourth of July weekend: Here's the Central Minnesota lineup

Food and treats included burgers, bratwurst, pizza, popcorn and ice cream. Games included bingo and ring toss.

“So we're happy to be back again this year. We only had a raffle for the last two years because of the pandemic and the quilt auction was online. And so this year we're doing an in-person quilt auction,” said Joetown Rocks festival co-chair Bruce Bechtold.

Spectators collect candy and other items during the St. Joseph Lions Club Fourth of July Parade Monday, July 4, 2022, in downtown St. Joseph.
Spectators collect candy and other items during the St. Joseph Lions Club Fourth of July Parade Monday, July 4, 2022, in downtown St. Joseph.

More:St. Joseph Fourth of July parade, canceled last year, returns in full force for 2021

Sunday brought the return of the Joetown Rocks festival which had not taken place since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Performers included the St. Joseph Catholic School Kids, local band Miss Darling Jane, musician Quinn Sullivan and the band The Killer Vees with Edan Everly. Fireworks started around 10 p.m. Sunday.

The festival was dedicated to Andy Loso, a St. Joseph volunteer firefighter and facilities director for the Church of Saint Joseph who died in November of COVID-19, Bechtold said. Loso was the grand marshal for the parade in 2021 and an active part in the community, Bechtold said.

“Yesterday was a really good success - I was happy to be back,” Bechtold said.

A vintage van takes part in the St. Joseph Lions Club Fourth of July Parade Monday, July 4, 2022, in downtown St. Joseph.
A vintage van takes part in the St. Joseph Lions Club Fourth of July Parade Monday, July 4, 2022, in downtown St. Joseph.

More:St. Joseph firefighter who died in November honored with flags at half-staff Tuesday

The parade included Mary Poppins as part of the Great Northern Theatre Company, a pretend wild-west shoot-out by the Wild Creek Entertainers, and synchronized loops driven by the St. Cloud Osman Shrine Go-Karts.

Christa Luckemeyer of St. Joseph has attended the concerts before, but never the parade.

“So the reason I'm here is because I love St. Joe. And because it is a really great environment and the people here are fabulous. And the concert last night was spectacular,” Luckemeyer said.

Joseph, Lelani, Marshall and Boscoe Heinen wait for the start of the St. Joseph Lions Club Fourth of July Parade as a light rain falls Monday, July 4, 2022, in downtown St. Joseph.
Joseph, Lelani, Marshall and Boscoe Heinen wait for the start of the St. Joseph Lions Club Fourth of July Parade as a light rain falls Monday, July 4, 2022, in downtown St. Joseph.

Fireworks displays are being held in St. Cloud at Hester Park and Wilson Park on Monday at 10 p.m.

This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: Fourth of July parade and festival return despite the rain