Amid widespread reports of cancelled Independence Day parades across the country, in Dickinson plans are not only moving forward but are garnering a record number of entrants.

As of reporting, at least 118 individual participants have signed up for the parade, marking it as one of the larger parades ever seen in Dickinson.

“We solicited very few places for this one,” Stark County Sheriff Corey Lee, member of the parade board, said. “Especially within the last week, people have just been piling in to be a part of this and it’s just been awesome. We really didn’t have to go to them, they came to us and I think that says volumes about our community.”

As in previous iterations of the July 4 parade, the parade is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Thirteenth Street and Villard and will move in procession to the ending point near Dickinson State University on First Street. While Lee said it is difficult to say when the parade will be officially over, owing to the large number of entrants, he estimated that the entire parade should be done by noon.

Irene Schafer, former publisher of the Pennysaver and a well-respected member of the Dickinson community, has also officially been confirmed to be the parade marshall for the 2020 parade.

“We all know Irene, we’ve worked with and been around Irene for years, she’s an amazing person,” Lee said. “She’s an amazing human being, she’s done so much for the community and she continues to do so at the age of 90. She’s running around like she’s 40 and she’s an unbelievable woman and honestly we couldn’t think of anyone else to do it.”

While Schafer agreed the Fourth of July parade was very much needed in the community in order to bring positivity in the face of the litany of negative news this year, the announcement of her being named parade marshall came as a shock.

“It was a total surprise, I had offered to help them and it was very nice of them to ask me,” Schafer said. “I didn’t realize that I was that important … I just plan to have a good time and I hope everyone in the community does too.”

Currently, the weather for Saturday looks to be in the high 80s, and participants will stay freshly hydrated by way of complimentary bottled water courtesy of Ponderosa Liquor and the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.

Lee asks that the public enjoy the event, but wanted to ensure that everyone remained vigilant and respectful of those that may be taking precautions for COVID-19.

“Hopefully everyone stays safe and respects everybody’s boundaries and distances as they will,” Lee said. “There will be some people there that aren’t exactly comfortable yet and they’ll want their safe space … so hopefully everyone can be cognizant of that and respect everybody’s distancing wishes.”

Schedule of Events

In addition to the parade, numerous other celebrations will be taking place in the city and surrounding communities over the weekend including:

An array of 4-H shows and exhibits will take place throughout the week at the Stark County Fairgrounds and Dickinson State University. From garden to woodwork to photography and much more. The 4-H Horse Show youth will participate with their horses in events such as trail class, Western riding class, halter class, reining class and speed events. Livestock showing is another favorite of youth activities.

Contact: 701-456-7665

Come enjoy America’s birthday with Bernie and the gang at Bernie's Esquire Club in Downtown Dickinson between 8 p.m and 1 a.m. at the Party on the Pavement on July 3. Enjoy live music and drinks without cover charge.

Contact: 701-483-4495

Join Dickinson Eagles Club on July 4 after the Celebrating Freedom Parade for their annual Beer & Brats at the Eagles Club from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dickinson Eagles Club.

Contact: 701-483-3561

Check out the Friday sidewalk sales and vendor fair following the parade in downtown Dickinson from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: 701-483-6949

The Grin Big Shindig brings a fun and unique set of all original American Roots Music composed within and inspired by beautiful Montana. The event is live at Phat Fish Brewing from 12:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Contact: 701-761-0170

Best Friends Mentoring is excited to host their Family Fun Day Road Races on Saturday, July 4 at a new location featuring a 1/4-Mile Youth Competition, a new 1-Mile Walk and 5K and 10K runs. The events will utilize Dickinson's beautiful walking and jogging trail near the West River Community Center and Dickinson Research Extension Center and proceed from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Leisure Park at the West River Community Center.

Contact: 701-483-8615

End the perfect summer celebration with a boom! Experience one of the most spectacular fireworks displays for miles on July 4th. Watch as the skies explode with brilliant color from the comfort of the former DSU rodeo grounds from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Contact: 701-483-7721