A United States Navy submarine named after North Dakota will be replicated in this year’s Independence Day Parade in Mandan.
American Bank Center is sponsoring the $12,500 float to replicate the $2 billion submarine, the USS North Dakota.
“It’s a perfect fit for us; a perfect fit for Mandan; it’s perfect for everybody,” said Chuck Bartholomay of American Bank Center.
The float will be 29 feet long and 12 feet high, and will be featured toward the beginning of the Fourth of July parade.
Accompanying the float will be naval commanders as well as American Bank Center employees who will hand out candy.
“We’d always eyed the Mandan parade,” Bartholomay said.
The submarine replica float also will be used in parades in Medora and the North Dakota State Fair in Minot this year, as well as seven or eight parades next year.
The float is being built in Minnesota and should be delivered by mid-June. It is expected to withstand two to three years of parades.
Members of the USS North Dakota Committee will act as marshals for the Mandan parade during Mandan Rodeo Days.
The submarine will represent the first ship to be named after the state since 1910, according to Bob Wefald, chairman of the USS North Dakota Committee. The first USS North Dakota, a battleship, was commissioned from 1910-23. The nuclear-powered USS North Dakota submarine is scheduled to be commissioned from 2014-47.
The submarine will be christened in September.
Wefald told the Tribune earlier that it is the intent of the committee that the state have a “lifelong relationship with the members of the crew” for the 33 years it is scheduled to be commissioned. He said, when available, crew members will be asked to participate in events around the state.
“We also want people to visit the ship,” he said.
The Mandan parade is part of the effort to raise awareness about the submarine and keep that relationship.
The USS North Dakota will be have a crew of 120 sailors and 14 officers.