by Dennis Dalman
For the 21st time, there will be a weekend of fun when Sartell SummerFest 2013 takes place in the city Friday and Saturday, June 7-8.
SummerFest events will take place rain or shine. They will be cancelled only if potentially violent weather threatens. Participants to all events might want to bring folding chairs, blankets and – possibly – umbrellas.
The fun will begin at 4 p.m. Friday when an event dubbed “Libertyville” opens at Pinecone Regional Park near the Bernick’s Arena south of Sartell City Hall. The free event, which will last from 4-9 p.m., includes kids’ games, inflatables, face-painting, removable tattoos and lots of food to purchase. A highlight of the event is a performance by the Sartell Community Band from 4:30-6:30 p.m. It will play a variety of selections: show tunes, classic standards, patriotic songs. Visitors should park at Pine Meadow Elementary School, located on Pinecone Road a few blocks north of Pinecone Regional Park. A shuttle bus will leave the school at regular intervals to bring people to and from Libertyville. The shuttle will operate from 3-10 p.m. Libertyville is sponsored by Liberty Savings Bank, which recently opened a branch in Sartell.
While Libertyville is underway, another event will begin shortly after 5 p.m. on the grounds just outside of Sartell City Hall. The annual 5k Mayor’s Race and the Kids’ 1k Run/Walk will begin and end at city hall. The Mayor Race walkers will start at 5:30 p.m., and the 5k run will begin at 6:15 p.m. The kids’ run-walk is slated for about 7 p.m., right after the adult race is completed. Wheelchair participants are welcome, although no other types of wheels will be allowed for the two events. Prices will be awarded to the top 5k runners and to the top male and female runners overall.
People may register at the city-hall venue right before the races begin.
Saturday will kick off with the ever-popular Grand Day Parade, starting at 10 a.m. The 1.2-mile parade route will extend from Sartell Street, along Riverside Avenue to 7th Street N., ending at Sartell Middle School.
In previous years, there was a family carnival at the middle school right after the parade, but this year organizers instead opted to have the Libertyville event the night before (see above).
This year, the parade will feature about 75 units, including eight marching bands.
Also on Saturday, starting at 6 p.m., there will be a free outdoor dance and a fireworks display in the south parking lot of Great River Bowl and Partner’s Pub, located on 2nd Street S. across from the Sartell Post Office. The beer garden and food court will open at 6 p.m., and music by the band “Deuces Wild” will be performed from 8 p.m.-midnight. At 10 p.m., the band will take a break, and a fireworks display will be set off south of the Great River Bowl site.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.