FORT PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Tomorrow brings what has become an Independence Day tradition for many central South Dakotans-taking in the Fourth of July parade in Fort Pierre. Organizers say the parade continues to grow and drew an estimated 10,000 to watch it last year. Darby Nutter of Fort Pierre says the SD State Historical Society has indicated the first official record of Independence Day being celebrated in the area dates as far back as 1825. He says this region has a long history of celebrating the Fourth and this year’s Fort Pierre parade is sure to be a good one.
Fort Pierre City Superintendent Vern Thorson says the 2013 parade will be dedicated to two long-time residents that played a big role in Fort Pierre’s development over the years-Jim Hauge and Ed Duffy.
Thorson says those planning to put a float or other unit in the parade tomorrow can start showing up to be assigned unit numbers beginning at 9:30 a.m. He says entries will be grouped into different areas before the parade starts.
Thorson says the parade will be lead by the color guard and other floats and units will follow. A contingent of horseback riders will also carry flags of every state and flags of South Dakota tribes, among others. The flags are provided by the city. The parade starts at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. It will follow Highway 83 south to Deadwood Street and then go west on Main Street. Since a portion of 83 will be blocked during the parade, motorists wishing to travel through Fort Pierre can detour around the celebration by following Salebarn Road. A group of judges will be picking the winners of various parade categories from the units entered. This year’s categories include “Most Patriotic”, “Most Original”, “Best Antique”, “Best Spirit” and “Most Humorous”.
In other parade related news, the Fort Pierre Fire Department will have a snow cone and cotton candy stand in front of the fire hall from about 10:00 a.m. until after the parade as a fundraiser for one of the department members-Shane Cronin-who is battling intestinal cancer. The treats will be sold for a free will donation.
Also, the American Legion Riders are setting up a “Veterans Viewing Spot” for vets and their families. Vets who wish to ride to the viewing location can receive a free ride from the Legion Cabin. Vets should be at the cabin around 10:00 to 10:15 a.m. and River Cities Public Transit will take vets and their families to a location near the announcers stand downtown where the vets can sit together and watch the parade as a group. This is for vets of all ages, from active duty to retired. RCPT will bring the vets back to their vehicles at the Legion Cabin after the parade.
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