In the wake of the extremely successful 2022 “Lighted Horse Parade” hosted by the Pelican Rapids Chamber of Commerce, we take a look back more than a century on parades of the past. 

Nobody alive today will remember this festive summer scene in Pelican Rapids. To the best of our knowledge, this is the earliest image of a downtown community celebration. We only know what is printed below the photo: July 4, 1902.

We’re having a difficult time orienting this photo, as it relates to the current Pelican Rapids streetscape. The buildings and the sharp turn, presumably to the west, are unfamiliar to modern eyes. It could be that none of the visible buildings are standing today—at least as they appear in this image. 

If any readers or “oldtimers” out there can help us get our bearings straight, email, or call managing editor Louis Hoglund, at 218-863-1421.

ALSO PICTURED parading in Pelican, modern era. This photo dates to Pelican Fest 2015, with the Pelican VFW Post 5252 and American Legion Post 17 honor guard leading the way through downtown Pelican. 

—Louis Hoglund, Managing editor