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35th annual Kinderfriend Day celebrates class of 2034

Kindergartners from Brainerd, Baxter and Nisswa came together on Adamson Field Thursday, June 2.

Two students carry a large purple ball
Baxter kindergartners Daphne St. Arnold, left, and Liam Gardner carry a ball during activities at the 35th annual Kinderfriend Day on Thursday, June 2, 2022, at Adamson Field.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — The graduating class of 2034 is well on its way.

Clad in big T-shirts hanging down past their knees in many cases, the 2022 kindergartners from Brainerd, Baxter and Nisswa took to Adamson Field Thursday, June 2, for Kinderfriend Day.

Color-coded by school to make a rainbow of kids along the track, the students walked to “Pomp and Circumstance” while waving to the crowd that gathered. Shouts of “I see my mom!” rang out while parents with cameras commemorated the event in the same place many of their students will walk again in 12 years to collect their high school diplomas.

“It’s a wonderful day in their lives, obviously a big step in their education,” said Harrison Elementary School Principal James Conrad, welcoming everyone to the 35th annual Kinderfriend Day.

Kinderfriend Day
Riverside Elementary students Eva and Chloe wave to spectators Thursday, June 2, 2022, at the 35th Annual Kinderfriend Day at Adamson Field.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

As kids waited for the activities to start, they expressed their excitement for the day, looking forward to singing, playing games and spending the day away from the classroom.

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“We get to be outside all day!” Baxter kindergartner Griffin Museus exclaimed, adding he was also excited to see his mom.

They reflected on what they learned over the past school year, with St. Francis student McKenna Olson saying she loved getting to hold chicks — as she hopes to be a veterinarian some day — and enjoyed learning to write her letters.

Young voices sounded through the air as kids sang tunes like “Rattlin’ Bog” and “Ants in My Pants,” moving to the music under warm, sunny skies.

All the Brainerd Public Schools elementary schools were represented Thursday, along with Discovery Woods, St. Francis, Montessori School of Brainerd and Oak Street Christian School, partaking in a decades-long tradition to celebrate some of the community’s littlest learners.

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A rainbow of students swept around the track at Adamson Field Thursday for the 33rd annual Kinderfriend Day. The traditional "Pomp and Circumstance," courtesy of the Brainerd High School Band, played as kindergartners from nine area schools donne...
Racing out from under the parachute, two Nisswa kindergarteners play during the 30th Anniversary of Kinderfriend Day Thursday at Don Adamson Field. (Brainerd Dispatch/ Steve Kohls) Video and Gallery...
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Kinderfriends
They're loud, giggly and often sticky. They are the class of 2026. And Tuesday they graduated from kindergarten. The long-standing tradition of Kinderfriend Day was held Tuesday at the Brainerd High School gym. Students from nine schools took the...

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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