Lino Lakes community groups organize late-August events

The Blue Heron Days parade, scheduled for Aug. 21, is pending approval and will likely be the only Blue Heron Days-sanctioned event in 2021.

Food trucks, a car show, an amateur singing competition, a 5K and other outdoor activities are headlining Aug. 19 through Aug. 22 in Lino Lakes. The end-of-summer events, which are normally associated with the city’s Blue Heron Days, are now open for registration. 

The city planned to cancel Blue Heron Days for the second straight year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but as Lino Lakes City Council members, the Quad Area Chamber of Commerce and other community groups have stepped up, proposals to hold events have been approved by the council. The Blue Heron Days parade, scheduled for Aug. 21, is pending approval and will likely be the only Blue Heron Days-sanctioned event in 2021; however, community members are welcome to attend the other events being held in late August. 

The Food Truck and Fun Festival will be hosted by Centennial Community Education (CCE) and the Quad Area Chamber of Commerce and is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at Centennial Middle School. The event will feature a car show sponsored by the Lino Lakes Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network, the Minnesota Sings amateur singing competition, food trucks, and entertainment from Centennial extracurricular groups. 

CCE raises money to provide local students with scholarships and grants through its Angel Fund, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund has run low. The Food Truck and Fun Festival is intended to help raise money to replenish it. 

“It started out as a very small food truck event,” said CCE Director Cori Sendle. “We were just looking for a way to raise some money for the Community Education department and for our scholarship fund.” 

Although the Blue Heron Days celebration will not be as large as in years past, CCE and the Quad Area Chamber of Commerce have worked diligently to bring the community together with their own event. 

“Dorothy at the Quad (chamber) has really done an amazing job just bringing everyone together,” said Sendle. “It will be cool, because it technically isn’t Blue Heron Days, but it has a lot of family activities for folks to do.” 

The Food Truck and Fun Festival is free and open to the public. For more information, or to make a donation to CCE, visit isd12.org/community-education. 

On Sunday Aug. 22 the Chain of Lakes Rotary Club will host the Rock ‘N’ Run 2021 Officer Silvera/Rotary 5K at the Lino Lakes Community Green on Village Drive. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the race will kick off at 9 a.m. The event will happen on all paved roads and Anoka County Trails. 

In 2015, the Chain of Lakes Rotary Club and its Blue Out 5K merged with the Officer Shawn Silvera Rotary Run. The race honors Lino Lakes Officer Shawn Silvera who was killed while on duty on I-35W on Sept. 6, 2005. 

The Rotary usually begins its planning process for the 5K in January, but due to Minnesota COVID-19 regulations still being in place, planning was halted until restrictions were lifted in May. Despite the quick timeline, the event was approved by the Lino Lakes City Council and will proceed. 

“The only reason we can pull this off so easily is because we have done it so many times in the past,” said Chain of Lakes Rotary member and race director Kevin Fitzpatrick. “Now that we have approval we can go full steam ahead.” 

After the race at 10 a.m., there will be rotating live bands, food trucks, a beer garden, dunk tanks, a cornhole tournament, a silent auction and a dog bar. Attendees are invited to bring their four-legged friends to cool down at the dog bar, a blow up fire hydrant that spills water. The cost to register for the race is $30 and prizes will be awarded to the top mens and womens finishers. The Rotary is hoping for 200 runners and will provide Rock ‘N’ Run muscle shirts for the first 200 pre-registered applicants. 

“We thought we would make a bigger event out of it,” said Fitzpatrick. “This is a continuation of what we have done with the city and then giving citizens of Lino Lakes and our community something fun and outdoors that they can do.” 

Registration for runners is now open at raceroster.com/events/2021/49626/rock-n-run-2021 and proceeds from the event will being given to the Rotary’s Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education and (STRIVE) program and the Minnesota Law Enforcement Exploring Program. 

Both groups are excited for the opportunity to bring the community together after a year of event cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Rotary is all about service above self so we wanted to provide a fun day of events for people that they don’t have to drive 30 miles to go to,” said Fitzpatrick. “We are just allowing people to come out and have a good time and be with their neighbors and be with their family and really enjoy our community and all the great work that they do,” added Sendle. 

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