ESCANABA - Local communities are preparing to celebrate America's Independence this weekend with a bang. Local celebrations include:
In Gladstone, a two-day celebration kicks off Friday with the Kiwanis Firecracker 5-mile run and 2.5 -mile walk. Registration for the event will take place from 6:30 to 7:45 a.m. with the race beginning at 8 a.m. and starting from the pavilion located across from the Michigan Sate Police Post in Van Cleve Park. For race day registrants the cost of running the 5-mile race is $25 or $20 for participants age 17 or under. Registration for walkers participating in the 2.5-mile walk is $20. Trophies will be awarded for the best overall male and overall female runners, and medals will be awarded for first through third place participants in each age category. For more information about the race visit www.gladstonemi.org.
Daily Press file photo
Fireworks explode over Ludington Park during a past Fourth of July celebration in Escanaba. Events are planned in communities throughout the area this Fourth of July weekend.
Line up for the parade will begin at 10 a.m. with the parade beginning at 11 a.m. This year's theme is "Super Heroes," and the Grand Marshals are the Gladstone High School Robotics Team and their coach, Tim Barron. The team competed in the world championship in St. Louis, Mo., earlier this year.
The Independence Day Festivities will continue in Van Cleve Park starting at 1 p.m. The park will be host to inflatable jumps, kids games, and vendors on both Friday and Saturday.
The Ultimate Air Dogs dock jumping competition will return to Gladstone once again this year on both Friday the 4th and Saturday the 5th. Residents can bring their dogs to the park to take part in the event, where dogs compete to jump the furthest into a pool. For more information about the Ultimate Air Dogs visit the website www.ultimateairdogs.com.
New this year in the park is an apple pie bake off competition. Resident bakers will be competing to see who has the best version of the classically American dessert.
Live music will be provided from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. by The Remnants Choir and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. by Taylor Made. Fireworks will follow at dusk.
In addition to the Ultimate Air Dogs and other festivities taking place in the park on Saturday, the park will be home to a new beer and wine tasting event. "A Taste of the Red, White and Brew" will begin at 6:30 p.m. and run until 9:30 p.m. Guests of the event must be 21 or older.
Tickets for the tasting are $10 and allow guests to sample 10 beers and wines. Hor d'oeuvres will be served and music will be performed by Milestone Jazz Trio. Larger servings of the featured drinks will be available for purchase during the event.
In Escanaba, Ludington Park will be the center of the action for the city's Fourth of July festivities. Activities will include food vendors, children's games, and inflatable jumps.
Escanaba Public Safety will be giving a Jaws of Life demonstration, the Escanaba City Band will perform at 8 p.m., and this year's fireworks display will take place around 10:30 p.m.
"Last years fireworks show was absolutely fantastic and we're hoping to have something similar again this year. Something big," said Escanaba Recreation Director Tom Penegor.
While not technically an Independence Day Celebration, the city will be extending the festivities with the Outing on the Dock, the second of three events planned at the Municipal Dock. (See related story)
Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. visitors to the dock can enjoy face painting, children's games, inflatable jumps, and the smoke house. At 4 p.m. Escanaba Public Safety will give a K-9 unit demonstration and Great Lakes Timber Shows will take place at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Live music will be performed by Verretta from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and by the Cadillacs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Food vendors will be operating throughout the event.
In addition to keeping the festivities going after Independence Day the Municipal Dock festivities are the city's answer to some of the comments made by residents following last year's week-long sesquicentennial celebration.
"People said, 'Geeze, this is beautiful. This is nice. We should do this more often," said Penegor.
The third Municipal Dock event will take place Aug. 2.
In Manistique the Independence Day celebration will kick off with a kiddie parade downtown on the Fourth at 6 p.m. The larger parade will take place on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
The Lake Effect Community Art Show will also take place on Saturday next to the Little Bear Arena on M-94 between Elk Street and Main Street. The show will feature a variety of locally produced items including knit and crochet goods, photography, paintings, jewelry, body products, yard art, and syrup.
"They usually do it at the marina it's not really ready for foot traffic yet," said Jeff King, Manistique city clerk.
Fireworks in Manistique will take place at dusk on Saturday. Residents are reminded that portions of the marina will be barricaded and will not be open for those wishing to view the fireworks display. However, other locations, such as the West Side Boat Launch, will be open.
This July 4 will mark the 79th year that the Trenary Lion's Club will sponsor the "Biggest Little Town Celebration in the World." The event will kick off at 4 p.m. with an "eat in the street" chicken dinner including half a rotisserie chicken, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, and a dinner roll.
Live music will be provided by Piq Poket from 6 to 7 p.m. and from Gator and the River Boys from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
A $5 donation is requested at the entrance to help support the fireworks, which will take place that evening. The donation includes a door prize ticket.
The Powers-Spalding Independence Day Celebration will be held on Thursday, July 3, at Veteran's Memorial Park. The parade will start at 5 p.m. (CST), and the theme is "patriotic"
Food, refreshments, volleyball, basketball, horse shoes, and kids games will be available in the park. No carry-ins are allowed. An ice cream fundraiser for the NCA Guarantee Scholarship Fund will be held and and fishing derby sponsored by the Normenco Sportsman's Club will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Live music will be provided by OZ from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Rides home from the park will be available.
The Village of Garden will celebrate Independence Day on Saturday, July 5. The parade will start at noon with line up starting at 11 a.m. The theme for this year's parade is "Red, White, and Blue, We Will Fight for You."
Festivities will follow with live music by Patrick Maloney, Brandon Hopp, Ben Peterson, Rick Rissman, and Diamond and Gold.
There will be a raffle, food and beer tent, and a "Run Until It Blows Up Car" donated by Burns Auto Salvage. Fireworks will take place at dusk. The rain day for fireworks is scheduled for Sunday, July 6.
The Hermansville July 4th celebration will be held on Saturday, July 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Other events will include an antique car show, cash raffle, life music featuring John Whitens and Friends, food and beverages.
The Hermansville Mud Runs, which were not hosted last year due to time constraints, have made their return to the Hermansville Independence Day celebration. The Mud Runs will begin at 12:30 p.m. (CST) Saturday at the Mud Bog located near Hermansville Pond.
Registration will run from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The cost to participate in the competition is $20 per driver per rig. For more information visit jaysautoservice.biz and williamandersonsport.com.