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An unfamiliar Fourth: Celebrating during the pandemic

With many of the traditional Fourth of July activities either cancelled or modified, people got creative with their fun.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Paul Dombeck's family knew they'd be without certain Fourth of July activities this year. He normally attends a pancake breakfast in Wayzata. His sisters usually go to Delano for the Fourth of July parade. 

But the thing they'll miss most this summer was cancelled back in May.

"We're all big State Fair fans," Dombeck said of his family. 

Which is why they decided to turn the Fourth into a backyard celebration of State Fair food.

Hot dish on a stick. Bacon on a stick. Steak on a stick. Foot long hot dogs. Mini donuts. 

With Dombeck's mother turning 80 in August, they also decided to celebrate her, naming their event: Grammy on a Stick. 

"We can still enjoy what we can, without the real fair," Dombeck said. "We covered a lot of the bases, but probably not all of them."

Credit: KARE
Bacon on a stick at the Dombeck's "Grammy on a stick" Fourth of July celebration.

Meanwhile, in St. Paul, kids didn't need to go to a water park to cool off. The Ramsey County Sheriff's Youth Plus Program set up a giant slip-and-slide on a hill near the Conway Community Recreation Center. A hose attached to a St. Paul fire truck provided a steady stream of spray. 

"A lot of the youth we work with, they don't have money to go to fancy water parks," said Chy Nou Lee, Inspector with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office. "So, we have to be creative and bring that to them."

The program also provided food, cold water, and handed out donated, handmade face masks. They limited how many people were at the event at once to help with social distancing. 

RELATED: Some activities still possible for Fourth of July

RELATED: Business owners host a short parade in Delano to keep the city's 163-year tradition alive