Every year, for as long as I can remember, my family and I have always gone to my grandfather's property in Mancelona, Mich., for the Fourth of July. Last year was the first time I didn't because I had to work on the Fourth.
When I first found out that I had to work last year, I will admit, I was a little sad. But by the time it was over I was really glad that I had to stay in Marquette. One of the best parts of being a photographer on the Fourth of July is that I got to spend the entire day outside doing what I love and meeting new people.
What surprised me was how alive Marquette gets on Independence Day. There was just something different about the atmosphere of the city that really drew me into the celebrations.
The first thing I did that day was go to the parade. I've been to my fair share of parades in my life and most of the time I was in them. I figured that it was going to be like every other parade but then I met someone in the parade that made it really about more than just children getting candy.
That morning this man from Negaunee went out and bought the biggest American flag he could find, put it on the biggest pole he could find and just hopped into the parade to show his pride for his country. It was kind of unbelievable to me that someone would just wake up one morning and decide to do this.
As my day went on, I ran into friends I hadn't seen in a couple of months and not only learned how to photograph fireworks but also what the firefighters' competition was. For what I thought was a pretty laid back city at the time, Marquette throws one heck of a Fourth of July celebration that I hope to be a part of for years to come.
Editor's note: Recent Northern Michigan University graduate and Mining Journal Staff Writer Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.