Every Fourth of July for the past 62 years, Norman Anderson has tucked a lawn chair under his arm and walked the three blocks from his home to a shady spot along Forest Lake's parade route.
“The nation's independence is something to be honored and celebrated.” said Anderson.
Taking in events of American Legion Post 225's annual celebration is second nature for Anderson. He's been part of the Fourth festivities since he was a boy, growing up on a family farm in Forest Lake.
But this year will be different. There will be no hike with that lawn chair to the parade route. Instead, Norman Anderson will have the best seat in the house, as the parade's Grand Marshal.
Anderson has been a member of the American Legion Post 225 since he got out the Army, serving stints in both World War II and the Korean War. Since then, he's been active in the local Lions Club.
"This is really an honor," Anderson said of his selection. "That the Legion would think of me is very special."
Parade organizers say it’s particularly appropriate for Anderson to be the Grand Marshal this year, because it’s their 91st parade, which happens to be Anderson’s age too.
The 2015 celebration runs July 1-5, with plenty of events slated at Post 225 at 355 W. Broadway Avenue, including carnival rides and attractions, food and music, a beer garden and tent bingo. Fireworks at 10 p.m. over Lakeside Park conclude events on July 4.