MADISON LAKE — The organizers of a bikini parade Saturday in Madison Lake don’t yet have a tenth of the women they’ll need to break a world record but are still hoping for a few hundred more holdouts.
Cynthia Frederick, owner of the Electric Beach tanning salon, said about 40 people have signed up so far, most of them women. Men and non-bikini’d women can march, too, but they don’t count toward the record.
Frederick guesses they’ll get “between 100 and 1,000” marchers for the Paddlefish Days parade entry. “I don’t think we are going to know until the day of,” she said.
Patricia Marx will be there.
The 57-year-old grandma from Maple Grove will be wearing a hot pink bikini, a feather boa and a tiara.
“If I don’t walk in a parade in a bikini now, I just might not have that opportunity again,” she said. Her husband will be marching with her, maybe in a Speedo.
Marx, who rides motorcycles with Frederick, said people who don’t like the parade don’t have to go.
“It’s their option to leave,” she said.
Fellow marcher Kathy Haack, of Bloomington, agrees.
“People need to remember Minnesota is a liberal state. If they don’t like what’s going on, then they don’t have to be a part of it.”
Haack said she’s marching in part because she lost her mother to breast cancer. Marchers are paying about $20 each, which will be donated to the Breast Cancer Natural Prevention Foundation. The group promotes the reduction of cancer risk through sunlight, which is turned into vitamin D by the body.
While studies have linked low vitamin D with higher cancer rates, doctors tend to advise their patients to get the vitamin through their diet, not the sun.
Haack is also hoping to break the record of 450 bikini marchers.
“How many people can say on their bucket list they’re setting a world record?”
The parade starts at 1 p.m. in downtown Madison Lake, and the bikini marchers are the 75th and final entry for the one-mile route. Frederick said she doesn’t know how long it will take before her group will be front and center. She said families who don’t want their children to see the bikinis can wait for the 74th entry — Hot 96.7 FM — and shuffle the young ones away.
They’re accepting same-day registrations, from 10 a.m. until noon or so, at Stoufer’s Auto Sales, 50 Walnut Ave.
The story about the bikini parade has made the rounds on state and national media, and Frederick said she has gotten many calls of support.
“I have been very surprised at the number of people nationally as well as within our state who have called me on Facebook and texted me with their support,” she said. “They think this is such a fantastic idea.”
Tony Cornish, a Republican legislator from Good Thunder, will be one of four people who will be counting the marchers to help certify if the record has been broken.
Cornish said he joined in part because he’s Frederick’s friend, and in part to show he’s upset with the “moralistic overtones” of some. (Four of five councilors in Madison Lake have said they don’t support the parade entry.)
“There’s usually women in bikinis watching (the parade). Nobody seems to mind that,” he said.