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Fourth of July parade a start for more to come

Minot hasn’t had a parade on the Fourth of July for a long time but this year members of the Minot Shrine Club held their first parade in the city to celebrate this nation’s independence.

Having a parade in Minot was Steve Belcher’s idea. Belcher, president of the local Shrine Club, said he remembers watching the Fourth of July parade in Minot about 55 years ago. He said that parade traveled from the street behind Town and Country Center, past Trinity Hospital and down Main Street.

It was an ambitious project to hold a parade this Fourth of July. The call for entries was announced a month or so before the day it would be held. But Belcher said they had about 35-40 units take part.

On the morning of July 4, the parade entries gathered at 8 a.m. near the south entrance of the North Dakota State Fairgrounds. The morning was chilly but there was plenty of sunshine for a Fourth of July parade. When 10 a.m. arrived, the parade started from the fairgrounds and headed west to the area of Roosevelt Park Zoo, its stopping destination.

The Shriners, Minot Air Force Base Honor Guard and other active-duty military members, veterans’ organizations, representatives of the local fire departments and Minot International Airport and others in the parade filed by those who came out that morning to celebrate this nation’s independence.

Belcher said many businesses donate to the Shriners so tickets can be provided to children to attend the circus each year, and the parade is a way for the Minot Shrine Club to give back to the community.

“Next year will be bigger,” Belcher said of the plans for the 2024 parade.

“I hope it goes long after I’m here. Minot deserves it,” he said.

For Belcher, the other Shriners and all who planned and took part in the parade, a big thank you to them. If anyone has the opportunity to volunteer to help with their project, we’re sure your offer will be well appreciated.

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