Fourth of July celebration planned for Watertown region

WATERTOWN, S.D.(KXLG)- Northeast South Dakota is the place to be on the Fourth of July, with two large parades and one of the state’s largest fireworks displays to celebrate Independence Day.

Revelers can kick off the festivities in Kranzburg, a town of about 170 people just 7 miles east of Watertown on U.S. Highway 212. Thousands of people flock to Kranzburg each year for a big parade that begins at 10:30 a.m. Watertown’s parade begins at 2 p.m. at Kemp Avenue and Fourth Street near the Post Office and heads west to the Watertown Stadium.

Both parades are open to any entrants, and no preregistration is required. Just show up early and get in line. More than 100 entries are expected for each parade.

When the sun goes down on July 4, it’s time to head to the Anza Soccer Complex in West Watertown for what is billed as the largest fireworks display in South Dakota.

Like Kranzburg, Watertown’s parade, which travels nearly two miles, always draws big crowds, according to Tim Sheehan, head of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce.

Kranzburg’s parade has been drawing revelers and politicians for decades. Up to 8,000 people are expected to flock to the little town. Chief Deputy Brent Solum of the Codington County Sheriff’s Department says law enforcement personnel will be ready for anything.

He said it’s especially important not to park in the ditches of Highway 212 during wet seasons, like this one, when vehicles can become stuck in the soft, muddy ground.

Solum said the best place for parade-goers to park is on the east side of Kranzburg, where a large field will be mowed and ready to accommodate vehicles. He said the area is large enough to handle however many people want to use it.

With such a large crowd gathered in the small town, problems could arise, but Solum said there were traditionally few issues during the event.

For those not wishing to drive on Highway 212, which can see very heavy traffic the morning of the parade, Solum shared an alternate route to the parking area on the east side of Kranzburg.

A map detailing that route can be found with this story on