Traditional Fourth of July events that we’re used to may not happen this year, but that doesn’t mean the show won’t go on.

Fireworks will light up the night sky this weekend to celebrate our nation’s freedom, modified running events are scheduled, and it’s likely full-time residents, seasonal residents and tourists all will still swarm area towns during the holiday weekend.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting Stay Safe Minnesota guidelines, the following area Fourth of July events are planned:

Pequot Lakes

The Pequot Lakes Chamber’s Stars & Stripes Days will not include a traditional parade this year, but a patriotic march was organized at the last minute. The Pequot Lakes American Legion Post #49 Color Guard will march with the flags at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 4, in downtown Pequot Lakes.

The color guard will start at the Legion going south on Washington Street to Butler Street to Government Drive to Oriole Street to Washington Street to return to the Legion.

Stars & Stripes Days will also feature food vendors, Water Wars, fireworks, craft fair, beer garden and a live band. Following is the schedule of events as the chamber encourages visitors to don festive patriotic attire while supporting local businesses and enjoying downtown Pequot Lakes.

Friday, July 3

  • 6 p.m.: Food vendors, including fresh squeezed lemonade, mini doughnuts, french fries, cheese curds, corn dogs, kettle corn, cotton candy and hot dogs.

  • Water Wars: Cool down with socially distant water balloon launchers.

  • 10:10 p.m.: Fireworks by Flashing Thunder at the Pequot Lakes High School practice field. Spectators are encouraged to watch the show from their vehicles or at Trailside Park while following social distancing guidelines.

Saturday, July 4

  • 9 a.m.: Pequot Lakes American Legion Color Guard patriotic march.

  • 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Craft fair and food vendors along Main Street in downtown Pequot Lakes.

  • 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.: Beer garden sponsored by the Pequot Lakes American Legion Post #49, located on Main Street.

  • 3- 5 p.m.: Bands in the Park featuring Rockin' Bakken, a Sinatra tribute, at the band shell in Trailside Park, sponsored by the city of Pequot Lakes.

Crosslake

The 50th annual Celebrate Crosslake fireworks show will take place at 10 p.m. Saturday, July 4, on the waters of Cross Lake. Fireworks will be launched from Sand Island on the south end of the lake.

Tune your radio to Skeeter 101.5 to hear a montage of patriotic music simulcast precisely for the show.

Other events include:

  • Friday, July 3: Crosslake's Original Flea Market, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at the intersection of County Roads 3 and 103.
  • Saturday, July 4: Music in the Park featuring Patchouli & Terra Guitarra (Neuvo-Flamenco) from 6-8 p.m. in Crosslake Town Square, sponsored by the Crosslake Ideal Lions.
  • July 4-12: Grandpa's Virtual Run for the Walleye

Established in memory of Grandpa Boots Buthman, Grandpa's Run for the Walleye is a community-wide effort sponsored by the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association to restore and maintain fish habitat in the Whitefish Chain. This year’s proceeds will go to area food shelves.

The 23nd annual Run for the Walleye is a virtual run, where participants run/walk a 5K on their own or with a friend (making sure to follow social distancing guidelines). Entrants are encouraged to run/walk the traditional 5K course if they are in Crosslake during the July 4-12 time period. However, it can be run anywhere in the world.

A map of the Crosslake 5K course is available on the registration website. The start and finish lines are at the Crosslake Community Center and the course will be marked with arrows on the pavement.

Families are encouraged to include their children in the 5K event; if they register, they will also earn a shirt. As it is a family event, strollers and dogs are welcome.

Entrants will keep track of their time and ensure they run/walk at least a 5K (3.1 miles). When finished, entrants are encouraged to submit their times via the registration website. Results will be available via a link on the registration website.

Visit https://runsignup.com/Race/MN/Crosslake/RunfortheWalleye. Cost to register is $25 and all registrants receive a performance T-Shirt.

Nisswa

Nisswa Freedom Days will not feature the annual parade because of social gathering guidelines.

However, chamber members are encouraged to host “independent” Freedom Days activities and shopping opportunities for the Fourth of July weekend.

  • July 4: Firecracker Run

The annual Nisswa Firecracker Run 5K and 10K will take place with modifications to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, including no chip timing or Free Kidz Run, and the complimentary beer and crawfish boil will be on a to-go basis.

There will be no mass start and no set race course. Instead, registrants will be sent in waves of 25 people each every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 4, starting in the field behind the Dairy Queen and Cenex gas station in Nisswa. The finish line will be at the Nisswa Community Center.

Runners and walkers must follow pedestrian law if following the 2019 courses. There will be course markings and mile markers where allowed. There will be no water stations or course marshals.

The July 4 run capped at 1,000 runners. Others can run the race virtually.

The Nisswa Firecracker Run is a beneficiary to Bridges of Hope Minnesota.

Brainerd

  • July 4: Brainerd Community Action will sponsor fireworks at 10:15 p.m. Saturday, July 4. Due to the ongoing limitations on gathering sizes as well as the construction at the Brainerd High School site, the availability to watch the fireworks from the hill and the lower site will not be available this year.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.