During the summer, with ample sunshine and warm breezes coming off of the river, the St. Croix Valley naturally gets into a festive mood. So with the Fourth of July around the corner, we’re sure to find hometown parades and fireworks in the park up and down the river.
Head over to Lowell Park on the Fourth, set up a chair or blanket, and sit back to enjoy the spectacular view, as colorful fireworks, set off from the Wisconsin side of the river, light up the evening sky.
Hudson celebrates Independence Day so thoroughly that the town’s festivities last three days. Hosted by the Hudson Booster Club, an organization supporting local youth athletics, Booster Days features food trucks, carnival rides, live music, a beer garden, a bingo tent and, of course, a Fourth of July parade.
For a small town celebration that offers something for everyone, it’s hard to beat Afton.
First, there is the Afton Trail Run, a 25- or 50-kilometer race along the beautiful Afton State Park trails. Considered one of the most competitive races in the country, the trail run is great for runners and spectators alike. For a more laidback celebration, visitors can enjoy breakfast downtown and listen to live entertainment in the park. The annual community parade begins at noon, and it’s filled with businesses, hot rods, bands, horseback riders and more. To make a day of it, consider finishing out the day in luxury with a fireworks cruise along the river from Afton Hudson Cruise Lines.
Marine on St. Croix
The Fourth of July celebration in Marine on St. Croix is an event that “just comes together,” according to city clerk Lynette Peterson. Fireworks kick off the festivities on July 3, then residents arrive early in the morning for a foot race at the Hay School. The town’s annual parade begins at noon and includes local businesses, the Citizen of the Year and floats. Marine Marching Band has been a staple at the parade since 1905, and the fire and ambulance departments always make things a bit more spectacular.
Decorate your wagon, stroller or lawn tractor, and head to Lake Elmo Avenue to celebrate Independence Day by becoming a part of the parade. Participants will line up on Lake Elmo Avenue, south of 32nd Street, and the parade will head north. The celebration ends at Lions Park, where the Lake Elmo Rotary Club will host a festive ice cream social.
• Cruise: July 3 and 4, departs 7:30 p.m. from Hudson
• Afton Trail Run: July 4, 6:30 a.m. race start for the 50K, 7:30 a.m. race start for the 25K
• Parade: July 4, noon, St. Croix Trail South
• Carnival: July 2–4
• Fireworks: July 3 at dusk, overlooking the river
• Parade: July 4, 11 a.m., downtown Hudson
• Parade: July 4, noon (participants arrive by 11:50)
• Ice cream social: July 4, 12:30 p.m.
Marine on St. Croix
• Fireworks: July 3 at dusk
• 4-mile race, 2-mile walk/run: July 4, 9:15 a.m. at the Hay School
• Parade: July 4, noon
• Fireworks: July 4 at 10 p.m., Lowell Park