Parade kicks off the fabulous Fourth of July party

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Considering some of us actually turned on the furnace in the past few days and my inflatable golden swan is wearing a winter scarf in the pool, it’s hard to wrap my head around the Fourth of July being just a week and a day away. Luckily the extended weather forecast is showing mostly sunny and with perfect temps in the low 80s for next week.

For over half a century our family tradition of celebrating America’s birthday includes the Coeur d’Alene parade. I have great memories of the event from my own youth living on Ninth and Sherman Avenue and watching from the front porch, then when my daughters were young and later with my grandsons.

Many years my late father rode in the machine gun turret of a tank at the front of the parade with his buddies from the Marine Corps League and the Chosin Few. I’ve driven beauty queens and a grand marshal or two in my convertible. I’ve accompanied floats but mostly have been an enthusiastic, flag-waving spectator on the sidewalk.

For the ninth year I’ll enjoy a bird’s-eye view from the announcer’s skybox and reviewing stand between Second and Third streets on Sherman Avenue. Scott Hough will be my roller skating wingman on the street in front of the skybox. Curtis from ROX provides sound and tech support, including music for the pre-parade dance party that has become a fun way for youngsters of all ages to burn some energy right before the parade makes its way from 15th Street to downtown.

A really special treat will be Brandon Michael, currently starring in summer theatre’s Beauty and the Beast and who will perform in Inland Northwest Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly this fall, singing the national anthem to kick things off just before the parade starts at 10 a.m. Many thanks to Miranda Hamilton of Insurance Northwest for organizing the parade this year for the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce and to parade sponsor the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort.

Hope to see you all on the Fourth for a star-spangled hometown parade!

• • •

This is Ironman weekend in Coeur d’Alene and HoopFest weekend in Spokane. There will be detours and traffic galore as people visit our city and lots of North Idahoans head west to participate in the world’s largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament. Plan ahead, take a deep breath and embrace the beginning of summer and our abundance of lakes, national forests and rivers to get away from it all.

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Things to Do Highlights:

Tonight the Rathdrum Parks and Recreation Department brings the Reptile Man show to Majestic Park starting at 6:30 p.m. Free ice cream and featuring an alligator, python, viper, tortoise and more!

Thursday a new take on Cd’A Maker’s Market on the rooftop of Lakeview Terrace for Lake Night Markets, 5-8 p.m. Local vendors, free to the public.

Also on Thursday, free Hayden Movie in the Park at McIntire Family Park. Spider-Man into the Spider Verse!, 8:30 p.m.

Double J Dog Ranch holds its annual fundraising Barking Lot and Vintage Sale Friday-Sunday, 8638 Cloverleaf Road in Hauser. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. www.doublejdogranch.org

Friday Ironman Pro Meet and Greet, 6-9 p.m. at Ironman Village in City Park. Free with live music, too.

Saturday from 1-3 p.m.Post Falls Community Library hosts a summer fair featuring live music, an ice cream truck, animals from Kootenai Humane Society and family games.

On Saturday Harbor Plaza on Northwest Boulevard is hosting a block party for the family with free barbecue, treats, games and prizes. Noon - 3 p.m.

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Happy birthday today to Kit Hoffer, Rick Rasmussen, Alecia Warren, Shannon Fish, Chloe Hutter, Ben Wolfinger, Karen Hanson, Cathleen O’Connor, Sheryl Snyder and Ernie Hunt. Tomorrow Trigger Weddle, Todd Banducci, Gayle Bolton, Leslie White, Scott Hamilton, Terri Mercer, Cherry Jones, Nathan Gubbe and John Goodlander put on their dancing shoes. On Friday Luke Thoreson, Gene Tillman, Connie Gridley, Dave Stutzke, Janet Smith, Cherry Jones, Jack Danelson, and Sheryl Sipe blow out their birthday candles. On Saturday Jessica Zazueta, Brandan Stone, Neil Conner, Kiley Archer, Monty Danner, Krystal Gordillo, Kiley Nick, Lyndon Harriman and Carolyn Havens celebrate. On the last day of June birthdays will be marked by Patty McGinnis, Kyle Rutley, TR Williams (85!), Katie Disney, Kimberly Carlson and Rosie Brown. July 1 birthdays belong to Tim Riordan, Arlene Reichenberg, Bill Brown, Terry Alexander, Chris Harrison, Byron Hamby and Mark Johnson. Tuesday Tonya Glinsky, Jim Dennison and Ted Wright will celebrate another trip around the sun.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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