Pioneer Days warming up in Negaunee

One event that’s part of Pioneer Days in Negaunee is the Pioneer Princess Pageant, which will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday. Emmeline Chaudier, third from left in the back row, who won the 2017 tiara is shown with this year’s competitors. Shown, from left, front row, are Molly Argall, Morgan Downey, Rheana Nelson, Liliana Saunders and Jyanna Grobar. Shown, from left, back row, are Sydney Jarvi, Alexia Dietz, Chaudier, Adyson Crookham, Adalyn Chapman and Camryn Sandstrom. (Courtesy photo)

NEGAUNEE — Pioneer Days, a celebration of “all things Negaunee,” continues this week with a parade, fireworks and more.

Sponsored by the Negaunee Irontown Association, Pioneer Days ends Saturday with a community picnic, parade, and fireworks, all of which are free to attend.

The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. with line-up starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Negaunee Senior Center. Its theme this year is, “Our local service organizations — the heart of our community.”

Beginning at 1 p.m. at Teal Lake is the community picnic with food, music and children’s activities. It will continue until dusk, ending with a fireworks show over the water. Providing music as the featured entertainer this year is Donald Benjamin, award-winning singer-songwriter.

The Negaunee Irontown Association, founded in 1979, was established to maintain the heritage of the region and encourage former residents to return to the area, according to its website. Beyond hosting Pioneer Days, the association does a Christmas tree lighting and provides scholarships.

A variety of other events are occurring throughout Negaunee, such as an alumni softball tournament for Negaunee High School graduates; the Mr. Upper Peninsula Pageant, which takes place at 7 p.m. Friday at the Historic Vista Theater; and the Pioneer Princess Pageant, which begins at 7 p.m. Thursday. The winning princess will throw the opening pitch of the alumni softball championship game, award the winners T-shirts and ride with Santa this Christmas for the tree lighting.

For a list of more events, visit www.negauneeirontown.org/pioneer-days.html.

As a nonprofit organization, the Negaunee Irontown Association relies on sponsorships and donations to provide these events. People are encouraged to support the association at its website www.negauneeirontown.org. Several local businesses have pledged their support, including Fox Negaunee, Tino’s Bar and Pizza and Ojibwa Casinos.

In a previous interview, Ann Ducoli, president of the association, expressed her thanks for the support.

“Irontown thanks all of our sponsors and supporters,” Ducoli said. “Without them we could not make Pioneer Days such a success every year.”

Jeff Maki can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 254.