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Leading the neighborhood parade is David Blume, engineer of his handmade Thomas the Train replica that he pushes from behind. He also broadcasts the music for the parade. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner

Summer get-together lights up Cottage Grove neighborhood

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family Cottage Grove, 55016
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

When Carol DeBlieck comes up with what seems like a silly idea, her neighbors around Iverson Avenue in Cottage Grove just go along with it because they know fun times are ahead.

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On Saturday, the fourth-annual neighborhood parade was held for no reason except that it's fun for everyone who participates, including David Blume.

The first year, Blume had the job of providing music for the parade. Because he loves all things railroad, including history, he built a train engine for the second year that he pushes to lead the parade.

Music, and genuine smoke from the engine's smoke stack, lead participants through the neighborhood.

The first year, DeBlieck wore a formal dress for the parade and crowned herself. Since Miss Cottage Grove was taken, she became "Miss Something."

She also has dressed up in a figure skating outfit to shovel snow in front of the house she's shared with her husband, Brian, for 18 years.

"The outfit reminded me of Carmen Miranda," she said. "When you grow up in the middle of 11 kids, you find a way to get noticed."

This year, DeBlieck was dressed as Pippi Longstocking using a coat hander to make her braids appear to shoot out of her head.

"I had the idea last year but my hair wasn't long enough," she said.

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