Roosevelt Park and Zoo still aren't quite ready for public use or viewing, but that doesn't mean that Festival of the Parks, the annual event celebrating the 4th of July, will not go on as planned. The festival will be held at Scandinavian Heritage Park for the second year in a row.
The schedule of events for Festival of the Parks, according to coordinator Jerry Spitzer, is breakfast at 8 a.m., an ecumenical church service at 9 a.m., a concert by the Minot City Band at 11 a.m., and a patriotic program at noon. Then there will be three musical acts performing in the afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m., which include Dakota Dixie, Formerly Fiona, and Dakota Rose.
"We want to be done by 4 p.m. so people can go to the air show," Spitzer explained. There will be a free air show at the Minot International Airport that starts at 6 p.m., with the gates opening at 3 p.m.
For the second year, the Festival of the Parks will be held in Scandinavian Heritage Park since Roosevelt Park and Zoo aren’t ready for use due to last summer’s flood. Admission to the festival is free with souvenir buttons for $1 and a day full of fun and festive activities.
There will be a bouncy castle and games for the kids as well, Spitzer added.
Roosevelt Park Zoo will also host the Zoo Run and Walk that day at 8 a.m., with registration starting at 6:45 a.m. Entry fees include a themed t-shirt and eligibility for door prizes. Registration forms and more information can be found by visiting the website (www.rpzoo.com) or by calling 857-4166.
Festival of the Parks is free this year, Spitzer said. In years past, there was a $1 admission fee, but this year attendees will be given a sticker upon entry. People can buy a souvenir button for $1 if they like, Spitzer noted, and next year they plan on charging the $1 admission again.
It's hard to say if Festival of the Parks will be a well-attended event, said Spitzer, but last year was big because Baker Hughes served food. It's also hard to tell because the festival is crammed into Scandinavian Heritage Park, he added.
Festival of the Parks is thought to have started in 1974 when the people behind it wanted to have a big celebration for the upcoming 1976 bicentennial of the United States, Spitzer said.
There are no major changes in this year's Festival of the Parks from last year's, Spitzer noted. It follows the same pattern every year, he said, and Dakota Dixie and Dakota Rose have performed at the festival in years past. The group Formerly Fiona is new to the entertainment lineup this year. They're an acoustic duo from Grand Forks and cover pop, alternative folk, and country songs, as well as perform their own original songs, according to their bio sheet. They have performed around the Midwest and have a CD available, and have also recorded two CDs with their father.
There also haven't been any problems with holding Festival of the Parks at the Scandinavian Heritage Park, Spitzer said. The Scandinavian Heritage Park is smaller and doesn't have the pool or zoo that Roosevelt Park has, so the last two festivals have been cut-down versions, he also said. "Hopefully next year we'll be back to our full-blown show at Roosevelt, but we're fortunate to SHA (Scandinavian Heritage Association) for letting us use their park for the last two years," Spitzer remarked.
"The whole event has quite a gamut of activities," Spitzer noted. He said people can expect to have a fun day and a fun time.