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Luverne enjoys 'Parade on the Pond'

Lead Summary
Lori Sorenson

The sandy beaches of Luverne’s Creamery Pond were lined with people and festive watercraft Saturday for the town’s first-ever Fourth of July Parade on the Pond.
By some estimates, nearly 500 people participated in the event, which featured picnics, ice cream and a contest for best-decorated parade entry.
Luverne Area Chamber Director Jane Wildung Lanphere deemed the first-ever event a success.
“Everyone had a great time,” she said. “We know that we will have to be a little more organized next year, but who knew what to expect the first time?”
The pond is named for its proximity to what used to be the Luverne Cooperative Creamery (now Great Plains Processing).
It’s owned by the city, but Mike and Traci Davis own the adjacent property and have been working with the city in the past year to clean up the shoreline and improve the beach.
“I think it turned out great,” Traci said of Saturday’s event. “I was amazed at how many people showed up.”
Mike Davis, who serves on the Luverne Convention and Visitors Bureau board, came up with the idea to host a Fourth of July parade on the water for non-motorized boats, canoes, pontoons, kayaks and floaties.
Lanphere credited what she called a “big team of people” for pulling it off.
“Special thanks to Traci and Mike Davis, city of Luverne and the Luverne Convention and Visitors Bureau for hosting the event,” Lanphere said.
“It took a big team of people — friends of the Davises and the city crew to get everything ready.”
She congratulated parade winners, the Ykema and Rust families, for their entries.
Winning first place was the Ykema family — Darrel, Jill and Michael — who built a sailing craft out of a stock tank that they decorated patriotically.
“They said that rowing it presented quite a challenge, but they did it,” Lanphere said.

Second place in the adult division was Kenneth native Justin Rust and his daughter, Inesita. They decorated their entry in red white and blue and called it “Air Force One.”
“Perfectly logical for a man and his family on leave from his full-time military career,” Lanphere said. “A good time was had by all. Thanks to the great people that took part.”
First place in the under-12 division were Cade and Kacie Kracht, and second place was Anthony Kramer. 
First place in the 13-18 division were Bergin Flom and Madi Schandelmeier, and second place was Alex Kramer.
The Creamery Pond Facebook page was buzzing with posts later in the weekend.
“That was a great event,” posted Matt Groen. “I hope this event happens every year. Thanks for a fun day.”
Others commented in general about the pond and its newfound popularity.
“Gives you that ‘being at the lake’ feeling, but on a smaller scale,” said Tashia Klosterbuer. “It's a fun place to get together and still be close to town.”
Pam Rasmussen said, “Thanks so much for all you do. This is so great to have in Luverne.”
Pamela Abell said, “Great place to fish, swim and for everyone to get together. I think it's great Mike and Traci let everyone go there. Thumbs up.”
The Davises said they’re already working with the Chamber and CVB to organize a 2016 Fourth of July event, this time with possible canoe races and fireworks.
Meanwhile, Mike said he hopes the public will cooperate to keep the pond safe for swimming and other recreation.
“Parents, you need to watch your kids and buy life jackets,” he said. “Safety first, honestly. … I want this to last, and if something happens, it’s gone.”

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