Elk River readies for July Fourth

The third annual Elk River Independence Day program at Lions Park will start off with some “flare” with the event’s first Elk River Idol contest. Of course, it will end with a fireworks display cascading over the heart of Elk River.

Fireworks over Elk River on July 4, 2011. Photo by Chris Leeseberg

This year’s program will run from 5 to 10 p.m., leading into the fireworks display by RES Pyrotechnics.

“We promise a great show,” said Deb Urista, a member of the Elk River Independence Day celebration.

Fund-raising efforts continue with a Pub Crawl today and a tip night event at the Elk River Pizza Ranch on Monday.

“We will meet our goals, and hopefully start off with some seed money for next year’s event,” said Jim Boyle, chair of the Elk River Independence Day Committee. “The community always comes through for this.”

The fireworks show will fill the night-time skies of Elk River with more than $15,000 of pyrotechnic displays after an evening of food, fun and entertainment that highlights local talent.

There will be plenty of food provided by the Elk River Lions, Curbside Dining and Dunn Bros Coffee, and activities for kids in the park.

The Idol contest will start things off at 5 p.m. and will lead into a flag-raising ceremony by Elk River Scouts, the Elk River Police Honor Guard and the Sherburne County Honor Guard. The ceremony will be dedicated to the community’s effort to achieve Yellow Ribbon status. Elk River Mayor John Dietz will address the crowd.

Then, it will be the Elk River High School Alumni Jazz Band that will take over the stage.

In between their performance and headline act, Shane Martin, the preamble to the Declaration of Independence will be read and there will be a skit by a pair of Elk River Community Theatre veteran actors.

The fireworks will be launched from the outskirts of the Elk River High School varsity football field, providing ample spots to view them.

“We have no doubt the park will fill in to capacity and so will all the green spaces along School Street,” Boyle said. “It’s an awesome sight.”

There will be kids activities in the park provided by District 728 Community Education.

Dan and Doris Anderson of Elk River will hand out cotton flags to children.

If you go:

5 p.m.: Elk River Idol

6:15 p.m.: • Flag ceremony by Elk River Scouts and Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard

• Pledge of Allegiance

• Three Round Volley by Elk River Police Honor Guard

• National Anthem

• Recognition of Elk River Yellow Ribbon program

• Reading of preamble to the Declaration of Independence by Renee Holznecht, Elk River High School second-place finisher at National Peace Essay Contest

6:45 p.m.: Elk River High School Red White and Blue Alumni Jazz Band

8:15 p.m.: Independence Day skit

8:45 p.m.: Shane Martin Band

10:15 p.m. — Elk River Independence Day fireworks show

• Food provided by Elk River Lions, Curbside Dining, Dunn Bros Coffee 5 to 10 p.m.

• Children’s activities and inflatables provided by District 728 Community Education, 5 to 8 p.m.

• Winners of the Powered by Nature Photography Contest will be on display. Contest sponsored by Sandhill Photography Club.

• American-made cotton flags donated and to be handed out by Doris and Dan Anderson of Elk River.