Posted at: 07/04/2013 5:17 PM
Updated at: 07/04/2013 6:15 PM
By: Travis Dill
Residents of Cloquet said their patriotic spirit beats out the huge crowds gathering in Duluth and Superior. They said it's all about celebrating with a hometown feel.
Residents lined both sides of Cloquet Avenue for over a dozen blocks. A parade launches their traditional Fourth of July get together. Local Gerald Sordelet said it's a big party, but still feels tight-knit.
“It is part of the community and it's part of the fabric that makes Cloquet Cloquet, and that's about the most beautiful thing about a small town. That we all know each other and we all get along,” Sordelet said.
Sharon Johnson said she loves to watch her husband in the community band float. She proudly pointed out that he plays the tuba. However she said that is not the only reason she turns out for the Veterans Celebration Parade.
“That is my first favorite part and my second favorite part is remembering our soldiers and the honor guard and the patriotic feeling. I think it's a good thing,” Johnson said.
She was also hosting some visitors from Portugal on a church trip. The patriotic party was one of the first experiences in the United States for the two girls from Portugal.
“When I came here I'm very curious about the Fourth of July. I already saw it in movies and on television, but it's very different than I saw. It's a patriotic party and celebration. It's very pretty,” Mariana Guimarães said.
She said there were a lot more flags flying in America than in Portugal.
“I really like to see all the flags in the doors and windows of the houses,” Guimarães said.
Cloquet residents were proud of that hometown tradition Thursday afternoon.
“I think that you have to celebrate it because it's like anything else. If you don't support it it goes away. You have to support your local community. You have to support who you are and what you are, and if the freedom means anything to you, you're going to take part in things like this,” Sordelet said.
The Cloquet party rolled over to Veterans Park for the rest of the afternoon, and it continued until dusk when fireworks were shot over the St. Louis River.