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It's Osakis Festival time!

At last year's Osakis Festival, it was hard to determine who had more fun during the Grand Parade -- those throwing the candy or those collecting the treats. (Osakis Review file photo)

If you're looking for fun children's activities, games, food, crafts, friendly competition, music, dancing and a big parade, Osakis is the place to be this weekend.

The 51st annual Osakis Festival is set for this Friday, June 21 through Sunday, June 23.

One of the highlights is the Grand Parade that takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday. Vicki Hinrichs, chairperson for the event, said there's still time to enter.

"It's usually the last week or so when we get the most inquiries," Hinrichs said. "We always have room for more people to be in it."

Those who want to be in the parade can give her a call at 320-760-4684.

There is no entry fee for the parade and those who are in it have a chance to win prizes of $25, $50 or $75 in Chamber Bucks. Hinrichs said the prizes are based on creativity and the thought that people put into their entry.

The Osakis Festival Parade is known as one of the largest in the region, typically lasting 45 minutes to an hour and drawing between 70 and 80 units.

As always, there will be a lot of candy and other treats given out. The Osakis Police Department, for instance, will once again be bombarding young parade viewers with icy pops.

The parade starts at the Catholic Church, moves through downtown and ends at Park Osagi.

This year's festival opens at the perfect time — the first day of summer. Here are other highlights that await Osakis Festival goers:

Friday, June 21

7 to 10 p.m. — live music from Rob Justice at the Osakis Liquor Store.

Saturday, June 22

9 a.m. — vendors will set up at the Osakis Community Center.

Noon — Osakis Women's Association Salad Luncheon. Tickets available at the door.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — kids' fun at Park Osagi, including Erickson's Petting Zoo, games, a bouncy house, money hunt, deejay music from Robbie Betterman, free Schmidt Pedal Pull for boys and girls ages 4 to 11. There will also be food vendors at the park during that time and a craft sale.

2 p.m. — bean bag tournament at the Osakis Liquor Store.

9 p.m. to 1 a.m. — street dance at the Osakis VFW, featuring the band, Runestone Rebellion.

Sunday, June 23

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — food vendors/craft sale at Park Osagi.

1 p.m. — Grand Parade.

Following the parade — Osakis Fire Department Water Fights.

3 to 6 p.m. — First Presbyterian Church Ice Cream Social, also serving barbecues and hot dogs.

A complete schedule of the festival activities is included in a special two-page section in today's Osakis Review that's supported by 30 local businesses.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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