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Hundreds of area residents lined Jamaica Avenue Saturday as the 2014 Strawberry Fest Grand Parade made its way to Cottage Grove Middle School. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)

Sunshine and Star Wars at Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest Grande Parade

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Aside from the ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ from the crowd as dozens of floats and performers made their way down Jamaica Avenue Saturday for the 2014 Strawberry Festival Grande Parade in Cottage Grove, the real topic of conversation was the weather.

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Sunshine, blue sky and high temps, a forecast that has absent from recent parade years, greeted hundreds of area residents, forcing some to bring out the sunscreen.

The hour-and-a-half parade featured the District 833 High School Marching Band, emergency vehicles from Cottage Grove and around the area, karate demonstrations, local and state royalty, and plenty of candy.

And no “Star Wars”-themed event would be complete without a few Darth Vader, Yoda and Luke Skywalker sightings. Grand Marshal and Strawberry Fest button designer Gary Riege road atop a red convertible with Mayor Myron Bailey and sported a hat resembling the character Jar Jar Binks.

Parade floats from across the state assembled in the parking lot of Crossroads Church, which last year was under construction.

The Grande Parade kicked off the first full day of the 2014 Strawberry Fest, which includes the carnival, strawberry pie eating contest, main stage act Sell Out Stereo and culminating with fireworks.

For a complete list of events for Strawberry Fest, visit www.cottagegrovestrawberryfest.com.

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Emily Buss
Emily Buss joined the South Washington County Bulletin in February 2013. She covers local government in Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park and Newport, along with other general assignment reporting. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
(651) 459-4629
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