View from the Lake-
4th of July party was for all ages

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 06/28/00.

"Celebrate the 4th of July at the Community Park" and "Celebration at Park Goes Big" read the bold headlines in the June 30, 1927, and the July 7, 1927, issues of the Paynesville Press . Elaborate plans for festivities included many activities that now seem to be quite dated. Our July 4th celebration at the cabin will consist of building a bon fire and roasting marshmallows for s'mores while watching the fireworks from the first island. Reading articles on July 4th celebrations of the past makes me wonder if we are less patriotic or just less organized.

The South Koronis Community Park, now called the Lake Koronis Regional Park, is located on the south shore of Lake Koronis. The goal of the committee in charge of the activities was to have everyone of all ages able to participate in the celebration. From the report of the newspaper it appears they met their goal. Over 2500 people were in attendance at the park on Monday, July 4, 1927.

The day began at 11 a.m. as the crowd gathered in the auditorium. Singing was first on the agenda and then followed by a lecture from Dr. Frank Weber. Dr. Weber was from Fargo, N. D., and was "reputed to be one of the best community experts in the U.S. Mr. Weber has appeared in all the large cities in the northwest and in scores of small towns and in every case, without a single exception, he has created a sensation." The 30-piece Paynesville band furnished entertainment followed by "Mr. R. M. Abbott and Dr. Frank Weber delivering the addresses of the day. The frequent and enthusiastic applause from the audience testified with genuine sincerity the esteem in which the speakers were held." Mr. Abbott was a local man who was well-known for his public speaking ability.

Sports races of various kinds were held after the afternoon program. A kitten ball game with the Community Park playing against Crow River was the first sporting event. Community Park players out scored their opponents 3 to 1. Races were held for the younger children. "In the race for boys under 12 years, 30 boys participated with Devello Smith winning first place. Second place was awarded to M. Randall. Janette Heitke won the race for girls under 12 years with Alice Haggans, second, and Viola Anderson third. This was followed by a race for boys between the ages of 12 and 16 years. Warren Chisholm took first place, L. Hegg second, and George Storlie third."

"Clarence Reamer came in first in the Free For All Race, Warren Chisholm and L. Ealy took second and third, respectively. Dewey Pederson copped the prize for rope walking while Joe Smith was first in the rope climbing with Clarence Reamer second." In the shot put event Elmo Hill took first place by throwing the shot put ten feet further than anyone else in the contest.

A "Slow Ford Race" was another interesting event held. Fourteen cars were in the race and Alfred Christianson took first, Henry Solum second, and Joe Katzenberger third. The final two races were held on the water. During the motor boat race the lake's waves were high and challenging for the boats to make their mile run. In a close race Fred Ruff won with his Elto motor and George Nelson came in second. The last event was a "Hidden Treasure Diving Contest" and Elbridge Schwartz was the lucky winner.

Winners in all the events received cash prizes amounting to $50. "The day as a whole was greatly enjoyed by everyone and it is hoped that another such celebration will be put on again next year." Our 4th of July celebration this year will be a success if as the backdrop we have a view from the lake.

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