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July Fourth events still in the planning stage


Two weeks before the Fourth of July holiday, organizers of a planned celebration still haven't obtained all of the necessary insurance and government permits.

Organizers Bruce Grant and Charlie Grant said the events they've planned - including a bull-riding rodeo, a powwow, a go-cart track at the Holiday Village Shopping Center, and a parade in downtown Havre - will happen.

"Nothing is absolute but at the end of each day it's closer," said Charlie Grant, who is not related to Bruce Grant. "Everying is going to go."

Plans are completed for a music festival in Pepin Park, as well as the Jaycees' annual July Fourth fireworks.

Liability insurance has still not been obtained for events planned for the Hill County Fairgrounds, which includes the the powwow and rodeo, Northern Insurance Agency owner Clarke Streeper said this morning. Streeper said he expects an insurance package will be issued by a Kalispell-based company by the end of the week.

The organizers need to present proof of liability insurance before events can be held at the fairgrounds, fairgrounds manager Tim Solomon said.

Ken Erickson, who had agreed to organize a small-car demolition derby for the celebration with his brother Dale, said this morning the derby will not happen.

"If you're going to get any kind of turnout for cars, it can't be on two weeks' notice," Erickson said, adding that drivers should be given at least two months to build their cars for a demolition derby.

Erickson, co-owner of E-1 Towing, said he told Bruce Grant on Wednesday that he could not do the derby. Erickson said that if Grant puts on a powwow on the Fourth of July next year, he may organize a small-car derby then.

Erickson said the Festival Days demolition derby in September will be held as usual.

The organizers has planned to have a parade proceeding down Fifth Avenue and then down First Street, but the Montana Department of Transportation won't agree to that route.

"I don't think that First Street is an option for the actual parade route," division maintenance chief Dave Hand said this morning.

Regardless of the route, Hand said, the crucial piece of the puzzle - the signature of a city official - is not on the parade permit application submitted by Bruce Grant. Hand said he will not sign the parade permit until the city has indicated that the traffic will be managed.

"I still need to have the city sign off on that permit," Hand said.

Hand said he spoke with Havre Mayor Bob Rice on Wednesday, who told him that the Havre City Council had not voted to approve Grant's parade route on Monday.

On Monday, Bruce Grant came before the City Council seeking approval for the parade, but the council postponed a vote because Grant does not have insurance for the parade.

On Wednesday Rice said he doubts the City Council will give the necessary approval for the parade or provide insurance for it.

"I don't think they're going to insure it. That's the impression they gave me," Rice said. "If the council tells me to sign off on it, I'd sign off on it."

Bruce Grant said today he is still waiting for an organizer from Browning - who he would not name - to return his call asking him to help run the rodeo.

Grant said he is expecting at least 20 bull riders, and has commitments from about 10 riders.

Plans have been solidified for a community concert in Pepin Park. Havre park and recreation director Dave Wilson said Bruce Grant has been granted permission to use the gazebo and the south half of Pepin Park for a concert and picnic on the Fourth of July.

Wilson said amplified instruments will not be a problem.

"We've had amplified music in there before," he said.

Havre City Council member Allen Woodwick is helping put together the concert. He said seven bands so far are scheduled to perform at the park - four country and three rock bands.

The music will start about 11 a.m. Friday and end by 7 or 8 p.m. Woodwick said.

He said there would also be games like horseshoes and possibly volleyball nets.

The Jaycees' fireworks will take place at the fairgrounds at sundown.

"The fireworks display is going to happen regardless of whether these guys have their events or not," said Jason Murri, project chairman of the fireworks display for the Havre Jaycees.


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