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July 4th marked despite virus

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt The Schell Brewery bus showed up at the Cambria Independence Day parade.

SLEEPY EYE — The Fourth of July festivities continued despite concerns of COVID-19.

Several traditional Independence Day activities were canceled in light of the pandemic. In New Ulm, the July 3 Riverside Celebration and July 4 Turner Hall Music in the Park events were called off, but the New Ulm Battery fired 13 rounds from their cannon at the New Ulm Cemetery. Each round was in honor of the 13 original colonies.

Cambria officially canceled its parade and fireworks, but a group of locals held an impromptu parade featuring a dozen golf carts and lawnmowers decorated by American flags. Cambria native Danielle Deopere said, “some traditions die hard.”

The carts and lawnmowers circled through Cambria multiple times. The Schell’s bus even joined the parade. Kyle Marti had taken the bus for a drive and stopped in Cambria on a whim and decided to join the short convoy.

The Sleepy Eye fireworks show continued Saturday evening over Sleepy Lake. Spectators were encouraged to stay in their vehicles. The parking lots along the lakeside were filled hours before the show. Families in lawn chairs viewed the show from the bike trail around the lake.

Around 9 p.m. spectators got a surprise flyover by a P-51 Mustang. The Mustang flew low over the lake twice.

The Sleepy Eye fireworks started on the south side of the lake a little before 10 p.m. but several fireworks were set off by spectators before and after the official firework display.

This year’s firework show had a bonus of a full moon.

By Sunday, the fireworks had died down, but celebrations continued. Alpenstern played at the Schell’s Beer Garden Sunday afternoon. The Beer Garden was open Saturday and Sunday but saw higher attendance Sunday. Guests were excited to hear live music again.

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