Funny hats, teeny cars

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July 7, 2003 // UPDATED 10:57 am - April 30, 2007
By: April Wooster
April Wooster

Nearly 3,000 Shriners will strut their stuff in two, three-hour parades this week along Hennepin Avenue between South 9th Street and South 17th Street. The daytime parade is Tuesday, July 8 at 9:30 a.m., and the evening parade is Wednesday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Expect clowns, bagpipers, drum corps, funny little cars, antique autos, marching bands, horses and men clad in Arabic garb. The Shriners parade is the largest held in a different U.S. city each year. It's part of the Shriners' 129th annual Imperial Council Session July 5-10, held mostly at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave. S.

The Shrine Marketplace at the Minneapolis Convention Center sells Shrine pins, patches, fezzes, Masonic jewelry and more. It's open Monday-Wednesday, July 7-9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday, July 10, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America is a fraternal organization of roughly 500,000 members who support Shriners Hospitals for Children, a charitable healthcare system of 22 hospitals that offer free orthopedic, spinal cord and burn care to youth under 18.