Small town celebrations are alive and well in northern Michigan, with plenty of patriotic traditions to choose from during the Fourth of July holiday week. Parades, parties, art fairs and fireworks can be found in communities all around Little Traverse Bay starting Wednesday, July 3 and continuing through July 6. Here's a go-to guide for all the red, white, and blue events happening here:
July 3 | Bay Harbor
The holiday kicks off on July 3 with a fireworks display over Bay Harbor Bay at dusk. Face painting in the Village will be available for youngsters starting at 6 p.m. Petoskey Steel Drum Band will also play from 8-9:30 p.m. on the marina lawn, with a magic show and balloon twisting by Jania Taylor to follow.
On July 4, the Village of Bay Harbor parade will take place on Main Street in the Village beginning at 11 a.m. The parade will be led by the Petoskey High School Marching Band, followed by festive decorated GEM cars and automobiles, bicycles and our equestrian horses as well as lots of candy and favors for the kids.
July 4 | Harbor Springs
Festivities will begin bright and early with the annual Paul Revere Run, which benefits the Harbor Springs track and cross country teams. The three and 10-mile run is open to all ages abilities. Registration takes place from 6:30-7:30 a.m. at the Harbor Springs Police Station. The 10 mile race will begin at 8 a.m. at Zoll Street Park. The three mile race will start at 8:15 a.m. at the Depot. The cost for early registration is $20 and $25 on the day of the race.
The Harbor Springs American Legion will hold a fundraising breakfast from 8-11 a.m. Raffle tickets will be sold for a homemade crocheted afghan, a gas card and a barbeque basket. Tickets will be available at the American Legion at 101 East Third Street in Harbor Springs.
Art lovers can look forward to the annual Harbor Springs Art in the Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Art from various vendors and a variety of mediums will be available in Zorn Park. Everything from paintings, sculptures, jewelry and more will fill the park.
A cookout at the Harbor Springs United Methodist Church parking lot will be held from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Burgers, bratwursts, hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches will be available to purchase individually or as part of a complete meal.
The streets of downtown will be lined with spectators in anticipation of the Harbor Spring parade which will start at 1 p.m. and run east to west on Main Street. After the parade, follow the Bagpipers down Bay Street to Stafford's Pier.
Following the parade, free sailing will be offered by Little Traverse Sailors on Bay Street. Sailing will be available until 4 p.m.
From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. rock out to classics from the 60's and 70's with the Keelhaulers at the Harbor Springs Waterfront, and enjoy a microbrew from Petoskey Brewing Company while there. Street Musique will also take place throughout the downtown area from 7-9 p.m.
Fireworks will take place at dusk and coincide with Petoskey's display. Harbor Springs competed against Petoskey in a friendly game of bocce ball at Pennsylvania Park in downtown Petoskey. Harbor Springs won the game and will have the honor of shooting off the first firework of the evening.
The Fourth of July parade will take place at 6 p.m. down Hill Street to Kalamazoo to Mitchell Street to Petoskey Street and then Lake Street, ending at the gazebo in Pennsylvania Park. The parade is immediately followed by live music by the Jelly Roll Blues Band at Bayfront Park.
An ice cream social will be held from 7-9 p.m. at the LIttle Traverse History Museum. Catch the Petoskey Mossbacks Vintage Baseball team at 7:30 p.m. at the waterfront. Fireworks are set to follow at dusk.
July 6 | Cross Village
Keep the patriotic community spirit alive a few extra days and celebrate one of the area's most well-loved and grassroots holiday parades in Cross Village on July 6. The parade begins at 1 p.m. on Lakeshore Drive in Cross Village.
A community party at Three Pines Studio will follow, with America Spoon gelato, cookies, and music by Kirby.