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Jaycees submit proposal to run Fourth of July parade in downtown Brainerd

Discouraged that a Fourth of July parade wouldn’t be in downtown Brainerd this summer, the Brainerd Jaycees began researching an alternative after first learning the traditional parade was canceled.

Monday, May 7, the Jaycees plan to go before the Brainerd City Council with a plan of their own.

Last week, Brainerd Community Action, which has organized the parade in Brainerd, sought approval from the Baxter City Council to move the parade there for at least one year.

In its letter in the city of Brainerd, the Jaycees said: “We strongly urge the council to encourage Brainerd Community Action to cancel the parade and let the Jaycees run the 4th of July Parade in downtown Brainerd.”

The Jaycees reported they contacted the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Crow Wing County and Brainerd city officials about downtown parade routes and secured tentative permission, if the city approves, to temporarily detour South Sixth Street traffic during a parade down 13th Street. The county provided permission to use their parking lot for parade staging, the Jaycees reported.

The proposal calls for a parade route that starts on Laurel Street at South Second Street, goes east to South Fifth Street and then south to Norwood Street, east to South Eighth Street, north to Front Street and west to South Sixth Street.

According to the plan, traffic on South Sixth Street would be detoured down Oak Street onto Southeast 13th Street.

“Although all the details are not finalized, this parade route would be safe, showcase Downtown Brainerd and would be an overall benefit to the community,” the Jaycees wrote.

The Jaycees submitted requests to the city for road closures and a parade permit.

“The Jaycees feel that since the largest event put on by Brainerd Community Action is the 4th of July Parade, this event should be held in Brainerd,” the Jaycees reported. “... The Jaycees feel we are very capable to run this event this year and into the future.”

The Jaycees noted their past experience in running large community events such as the Ice Fishing Extravaganza, Street Fest on 7th, the Run for the Lakes Marathon and others.

“Although there are challenges, the Jaycees are up to the task,” the group wrote to the city of Brainerd. “... The Jaycees feel we are the dependable group that should run the 4th of July Parade. Prior to Brainerd Community Action running the parade, the Jaycees ran the parade for three years in the late 70s.”

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852. Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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