July 4 program falling into place as fund drive continues

by Jim Boyle

The Elk River Independence Day Committee climbed another $1,000-plus closer to its goal of raising $25,000 for a Fourth of July program and fireworks show at Lions Park. Donations are still being sought from members of the community, local businesses and community organizations.

There will be a pub crawl (see page 3) on June 30 in Elk River and a tip night at Elk River Pizza Ranch on Monday, July 2, to raise funds.

Zylstra Harley-Davidson is also collecting food for CAER as part of its HOGS CAER program that was started at last year’s Independence Day celebration. Organizers there are collecting food at the dealership and will again at the Fourth of July. They will also have a cookout with live entertainment from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 7  with all donations there going to CAER.

Elk River High School’s DECA progam and National Honor Society, as well as members of Young Life are being tapped to help out at the Pizza Ranch event on Monday evening. They will also likely be helping out at the Independence Day celebration.

Elk River Idol  contestants picked

Meanwhile, the program, which will run from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 continues to fall into place.

Eighteen youth tried out for the Elk River Idol contest Wednesday night and 12 have advanced. They will perform on stage starting a 5 p.m. at the Independence Day program. The contest is being organized and sponsored by District 728 Community Education.

Those who advanced are Mackenzie Miller, Jenna Nielson, Emily Mattingley, Anneke Verhoef, Kimlynn Lee, Olivia Robinson, Cali Lusignan, Brock Stang, Kyle Rooker, Emily Buck, Bailey Rosdahl and Emily Rosdahl.

Elk River Scouts as well as members of the Elk River Police Honor Guard and the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard will present the flags and do a three-round volley at the event, which will be emceed by Dan Hertsgaard, an Elk River man known for his days with WCCO Radio.

Shane Martin will be the headline act for the program.

Martin, a local boy, is quickly becoming one of the top draws in the country/rock genre.  In addition to his popular acoustic “One Man Band” performances, Martin fronts his own band with his distinctive vocals and stage charisma, according to a press release.

His band, a diverse group of experienced and talented musicians, has shared the stage with numerous national country and rock acts.

Together the group blends infectious award-winning originals and memorable cover songs with hard-driving beats, melodic grooves and vocal harmonies.

Shane Martin concerts are billed as a high energy good time that gets a crowd on their feet dancing and singing along, leaving them wanting more.

The Elk River Lions, Curbside Dining and Dunn Bros Coffee have been lined up to serve food and soft drinks. The committee is also hoping to add a pizza vendor and an ice cream vendor to the menu.

There will also be inflatables and kids games going on at the park throughout much of the event. Night Lights will be there at night to sell glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Their sellers will be connected to a youth group at Christ Church in Otsego.