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Fishing contestant Brian Hanson chooses to walk with his future fishing partner, son Connor, during annual Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic Boats Parade on Friday evening. The event featured 38 boats parading down Beltrami Avenue. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pionee

A procession of boats: Parade kicks off Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic fishing tournament

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BEMIDJI -- People lined the streets in droves Friday evening for the annual Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic Boats Parade.

The parade, consisting of 38 boats and their fishermen, started at 8th street before making their way down Beltrami Avenue. The event served as the kickoff to the 14th annual Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic fishing tournament.

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According to Mark Fuller, a committee member who helped organize the event, fishermen that participated in the parade are eligible to win cash prizes today at the event. The team that scores the highest in the tournament and that participated in the parade will win a $500 cash prize, while two other random teams will win $250 cash prizes.

"It's a good thing to do and the community likes to come out for the parade," Fuller said.

Bemidji resident Chrissy Relay said her family came to the parade so their young daughter, Elizabeth, could see the the different boats.

"We just moved into town last year and this is the weekend that we actually found out about it," she said. "She doesn't see fish a lot, so it's an opportunity for our daughter to see fish, the boats and the sport."

The tournament starts at 7 a.m today at the Lake Bemidji Waterfront and goes until 5 p.m. One-hundred different teams will be competing against each other to see who can catch the largest walleye. The top 10 teams that place will receive prizes -- with a grand prize of $12,500 going to the first-place champions.

During the tournament there will be family activities running from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and a cornhole tournament starting at noon and going until 3:00 p.m. Weigh-In starts at 3:30 p.m. with award ceremonies taking place at 4:30 p.m.

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