Duane Pike and Tanya Stroh take aim in the beanbag tournament at The Lake, aka the creamery pond.Carson Ehde and Eli Peter Bakken take in the events and activities at the Fourth of July celebration at The Lake.Carson Ehde and Eli Peter Bakken take in the events and activities at the Fourth of July celebration at The Lake.Rhiannon Beth Meyer Bartels sports her kitty face paint.Krista Kurtz applies a kitty design on Rhiannon Bartels' face.The fireworks drew the biggest crowds of the day.Eric Edstrom heads to the beach with his July 4 gear.Hank DePiper makes his way down the inflatable slide.Karen Menage enjoys a colorful taco salad at the concessions at The Lake.Jon Kurtz sets up for the evening's fireworks display at The Lake.Jeremy Lehman works on the fireworks display, getting it ready for the evening show.Mike Davis gets the trainers out for log rolling practice at The Lake. The paddles help to slow the spinning of the log for beginners.Jacob Stroh takes a practice spin at the log rolling competition at The Lake. Gavin MeadJessica Mead and her son Gavin paddle around The Lake during the Parade on the Pond.Brad Fransen paddles the kayak as young George Washington (Oliver Mead) entertains crowds in the Parade on the Pond. The entry won first place in the children's division.Patricia Scheidt and Tom Nelson decorate their paddleboat for the Parade on the Pond. They called their entry "Flowers of Freedom."Ed and Walter Stearns paddle their boat in the Parade on the Pond. Their passengers are Elizabeth "Birdie" Ferguson and Kathe Stearns.Hailey Boll (left) and Veronica West bury their toes in the sand on the beach at The Lake.Aaron Altman and 4-year-old Braylynn Altman work on their sandcastle entry.Aaron Altman and 4-year-old Braylynn Altman work on their sandcastle entry.Garret Cattnach gets started on his sandcastle.Zakada Bradley (left) and Jordyn Englert work on their sandcastle entry.Grace Steensma (left) and Michelle Kramer help out with sandcastle contest entries. Jennifer Moller was among the first to finish her sandcastle entry.Jaeva Evans builds her sandcastle with an audience, Fawn Rustand (left) and Nicole Hartke.Snow cones and pizza were on the menu for these three girls at The Lake Monday. They are (from left) Jordyn Reisch, Regan Mehlhaff and Inesita Rust. Sandra Oakley, Luverne, sports her stars and stripes for the July 4 celebration at The Lake. Dan Madsen applies a tattoo on Christopher Bonilla's forearm.Darrel Ykema and his son, Michael, go for a ride around The Lake prior to the parade.

Let freedom ring

Fourth of July at The Lake draws big crowds

The Fourth of July celebration at The Lake in Luverne was everything everyone had hoped for and more.

“It was an amazing day,” was one comment on the Star Herald’s Facebook post about the event. “We appreciate it a lot for everyone that made it possible.”

Another said, “The fire works were wonderful; Luverne can be so proud of you.”

According to Luverne Area Chamber Director Jane Wildung Lanphere, more than 2,000 people attended events throughout the day.

In addition to fireworks, the Fourth of July celebration in Luverne included a water parade, a log rolling contest,  a triathlon, a bean bag tournament, a sand castle contest, live music, face painting, food and beer vendors, and more.

Parade winners in the children’s division were Oliver Mead as George Washington in first place and Gavin Mead as George Washington in second.

In the adult division first place went to the Ykema Family (Darrel, Jill and Michael) for their “Living the Dream - Redneck Yacht Club.”

Pat Scheidt and Tom Nelson won second place with “Flowers of Freedom — Love the Lake in My Backyard."

Third place went to Walter and Ed Stearns with “Berty at the Helm - 1964 Oday Javelin Sail Boat.”

Log rolling winners (combined time of two rolls in winners’ bracket of five participants) were as follows:

In the adult division, Tom Anderson of Chandler, Arizona, won with a total time of 11.30 seconds.

Second place went to Brandon Oakley, Luverne, with 8.62 seconds.

Will Natte, Luverne, was third with 4.50 seconds

In the 18-and-under division, Luverne’s Carson Davis lasted 35.83 seconds for first place.

In second was Mason Smith, Ivanhoe, with 28.93 seconds.

Third place honors went to Inesita Rust, Cabot, Arizona, with 23.07 seconds.

See page 2B for results of the triathlon, and see page 8A for more photos.

Also see the Star Herald website, www.star-herald.com, and the Star Herald Facebook page.

The all-day event was free and open to the public, thanks to donations from individuals and local sponsors.

“We have some changes that we know we have to make, and we found out we need to raise additional money,” Lanphere said.

“To make the day essentially free, it cost more than we estimated, and we really need to have a zero-based budget or at least earn some to put in a fund for the following year.”

She praised those who put effort into the event.

“It wouldn't have happened without the passionate support of the city of Luverne, Fourth of July Committee, city Public Works, Mike and Traci Davis and all their friends who worked so hard,” Lanphere said.

“We also can't thank enough the wonderful businesses who did pledge and support the event.  They made us able to put a plan together.”

To support the cause, tax-deductible donations can be made to the Luverne Initiatives For Tomorrow at 213 E. Luverne St., Luverne, MN 56156.

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