Stars & Stripes
Fourth of July celebrations on tap throughout area
By CECILIA BROWN
Journal Staff Writer
MARQUETTE — For those looking to celebrate the nation’s history, a multitude of Fourth of July events are happening throughout Marquette County and surrounding areas. From the annual Big Bay Parade, to the International Food Fest in Marquette and Gwinn’s fireworks display, there’s something for everyone.
Marquette’s festivities will begin Wednesday with the opening of the Exchange Club of Marquette County’s 34th annual International Food Fest at Ellwood A. Mattson Lower Harbor Park.
The event, which will run through Friday, will be open from noon to 10:30 p.m. each day. The food fest will feature live music, a selection of food vendors, kids’ activities, a 50/50 raffle and more.
Vendors include Superior Culture, Outlanders, K’s Oriental, Sweet and Salty, Babushka’s Polish Foods, Sweet Basil Catering Co., Superior Mobile Koney and the Noquemanon Trail Network.
Music will take place from 2 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and noon to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, with a variety of local, regional and national acts.
On Thursday, Marquette’s parade will start at 2 p.m., beginning near the McClellan Avenue and Washington Street intersection, and continuing east on Washington to Third Street.
At 9:45 p.m., a boat parade will be held by the Marquette Yacht Club.
Fireworks put on by the Marquette Fourth of July Celebration Committee will follow around 10:30 p.m. and can easily be viewed from the food fest area.
In Ishpeming, Independence Day activities organized by the Ishpeming Fourth of July Committee with title sponsor mBank will kick off Monday, with the 39th annual Ishpeming Alumni Softball Tournament. Call Tim Hares at 906-485-4697 for more information, or visit the Ishpeming Fourth of July Facebook page for brackets. The tournament will run through Thursday afternoon.
The 18th annual Westwood Alumni softball tournament kicked off today and will also run through Thursday afternoon. Call Ronalyn Arseneau at 906-485-1023 for more information or visit westwoodalumnisoftball.weebly.com
On Wednesday, an alumni open house will be held at the Ishpeming High School gym from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Festival of Treasures will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Ishpeming along Main Street, featuring crafters, food and music. Call Judy Hodges for more information at 906-486-8621.
At 7:30 p.m., the Ishpeming Blue Notes Drum and Bugle Corps will host a concert in downtown Ishpeming.
On Thursday, the Fourth of July festivities in Ishpeming will start off with the Firecracker 5K Race and 1-mile walk at the Al Quaal Recreation Area. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the race starting at 8:45 a.m.
At 10 a.m., the Daryl Champion Kids’ Parade will kick off at Bank and Main streets in downtown Ishpeming.
The 39th annual Ishpeming Fourth of July Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. starting on Third Street near Empire Street. The parade expects to garner over 100 units with more than 1,000 participants. Those who wish to participate in the parade are asked to meet at the corner of Park and Third streets at 9:30 a.m.
Registration forms can be found on the Ishpeming Fourth of July Facebook page, the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
For details on the parade route, visit the Ishpeming 4th of July Facebook page.
At noon, a reception and lunch for retired educators of Ishpeming Public Schools and NICE Community Schools will be held at Al Quaal Recreation Area under the pavilion, as the theme of this year’s celebration is “Honoring our Educators,” organizers said. NICE district retirees are asked to RSVP to Tia Rodda at firstname.lastname@example.org. Retirees from the Ishpeming district are asked to RSVP to Andrea Jackson at email@example.com
Also at noon Thursday, a community picnic will begin at the Al Quaal Recreation Area, featuring food, kids’ games, ponies, musical entertainment, fireworks, artists’ tents, a 50/50 raffle and more.
From noon to 7 p.m at Al Quaal, kids’ games with Tania Richards, free hayrides, art and food vendors will be offered. From 2 to 8 p.m., free kids’ bounce houses will also be available.
At 5 p.m., middle and high school kickball with host Greg Maki will be held in the softball area following the alumni games.
At dusk, the 50-50 raffle winners will be announced and the fireworks will commence.
The Trenary Lions Club is hosing its 84th annual Independence Celebration on Thursday. It kicks off with a parade at 11 a.m. led by the Little Lake Color Guard.
At noon, the midway, featuring games, races and other competitive events, will open. Barbecue by Trenary Home Bakery, a pasty stand, a donut dinner, refreshments, a beer stand and more will also be available.
Music by Alexis Matson will begin at 1 p.m., with a raffle ticket drawing held at 6 p.m. Music by Flitch will start at 6:30 p.m.
The fireworks display will begin at dusk. The event will take place rain or shine and offers free parking, organizers said.
For more information, contact Carlotta Wojtyniak at 906-446-3552.
In Munising, the festivities will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday with the Firecracker Two-blocker soap box race at the corner of Cedar and Varnum streets.
July Fourth’s activities begin with the Fun Run at Bayshore Park at 8:30 a.m. There is a $15 entry fee, registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Call 906-386-4673 for more information.
At 10 a.m., a flag raising will take place at the All Veterans Memorial.
Music in the park, games, concessions, rotisserie chicken, fish and chips, hot dogs and sloppy joes, as well as a “mystery person” will be on tap all day at Bayshore Park.
The parade will begin at noon, starting at Varnum and Birch streets.
A watermelon eating contest will be held at 2:45 p.m. in the gazebo at Bayshore Park.
At 3:30 p.m., a pet parade will take place. Contestants should meet at the Alger County Courthouse at 3 p.m.
At 4:15 p.m., free ice cream will be offered at the People’s State Bank fountain. Starting at 4:30, a water fight will be held by the Munising Volunteer Fire Department.
Later in the evening, attendees can test their skills at a grease pole on city pier at 5:15 p.m., and an 8 p.m. egg-throwing contest.
Fireworks will start at dark. For those who would like to enjoy fireworks from the water while supporting the Alger County Chamber of Commerce, two fundraising July Fourth cruises will be offered.
The Twilight Indianhead Cruise will board at 8:45 p.m., for $35 and the Fireworks on the Bay Cruise boards at 9:45 p.m. for $15. Call 906-387-2138 for tickets.
Volunteers are needed for Tuesday through Friday, organizers said. Call 906-387-3831 to volunteer.
In Michigamme, the festivities will kick off Wednesday at Michigamme Park.
The concession stand will open at 5 p.m., with a boat parade at 7 p.m. Live music by Black Pearl will be offered at 8 p.m., with fireworks at dusk.
The Michigamme celebration continues Thursday with the parade to be held at 11 a.m., beginning at Gaylord and Main streets.
Following the parade, “food, fun and games,” will be offered at Michigamme Park, organizers aid. A cribbage tournament will be held at 6 p.m. in the community building dining room. The cost is $10.
Gwinn’s Fourth of July celebration, organized by the Forsyth Township Volunteer Fire Department will kick off with a street dance in Nordeen Park from 8 p.m. to midnight Wednesday.
On Thursday, the parade will start at 10 a.m. near Gilbert Elementary school.
Starting at 11 a.m., kids’ games and food will be available at Nordeen Park through 4 p.m. A bean bag tournament will also be held in the park at 1 p.m., interested parties are asked to call Jason at 869-6756 for more information.
At dusk, Gwinn’s first year of Fourth of July fireworks will be held, with viewing areas from the Gwinn High School to the baseball field, organizers said.
Big Bay will offer its traditional July Fourth Parade led by Bay Cliff Health Campers at 3:15 p.m. Kids are encouraged to decorate and ride their bikes, and “more floats and parade participants are wanted and all are encouraged to join,” according to organizers. Kids’ games and ice cream will be in Draver Park after the parade.
On Saturday, Fire on the Bay will be held, with the fireworks display beginning at dusk and lasting around a half hour. Spectator areas will be on the public beach and harbor area.
For those looking to continue the celebration, Curtis will hold its Independence Day celebration July 7. It will feature the “Biggest Little Town Parade in Michigan” starting around noon. Meanwhile, over 40 arts and crafts vendors will be on the grounds beginning at 10 a.m. Fireworks will begin at dusk, organizers said. Visit http://www.curtischamber.com or call 906-586-3700 for more information.
Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.