GRAND MARSHAL

East Tawas Councilwoman Blinda Baker is the 2019 grand marshal for the Independence Day parade in the Tawases.

EAST TAWAS – As residents and visitors may know, sometimes one day and one location is simply not enough when a celebration is held in Iosco County.

The area will be going big again this year for Independence Day on Thursday, July 4, with activities taking place throughout the county, both on the fourth and after.

The schedule of events for 2019 is listed as follows:

Tawas City and East Tawas:

Fourth of July fun in the Tawas area will begin next Thursday at 11 a.m. with the annual parade, the theme of which is “Born in the USA.”

The procession will begin on Newman Street in downtown East Tawas, with participants then traveling along US-23 to Whittemore Street in Tawas City.

The 2019 Grand Marshal for the event is East Tawas Councilwoman Blinda Baker.

According to those from the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce, parade registrants will have a shot to win top place in five different contest categories: most original, prosperity in business, best overall, strength in community and best use of theme.

Parade applications are available at the chamber office, located at 228 Newman St., or can be filled out online by going to www.tawas.com. The deadline to apply is Monday, July 1. For further information, chamber representatives may be reached by dialing 362-8643.

Those from the organization will also be offering the Bouncy House Playground again, for the youngsters who will be attending the July 4 festivities.

It will be available next Thursday, once the parade concludes, and will be open until 9 p.m.

The bouncy playground will also be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, July 5-6.

Admission is $5 per day, or $10 for a three-day pass. The inflatable structures will be situated at East Tawas Harbor Park, located at the intersection of US-23 and Newman Street.

Another Independence Day tradition in the community is Christ Episcopal Church’s annual Strawberry Festival.

The event will take place at the church, located on the corner of West Westover and Sawyer streets in East Tawas, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visitors may purchase such treats as strawberry shortcakes and sundaes, hot dogs, beverages and other bake sale items.

Patrons of Tawas Point State Park in East Tawas will have the chance to enjoy a July 4 activity designated just for campers, with the return of the yearly Bike Parade.

Children of all ages are invited to decorated their bicycles and showcase their creations around the property, located at 686 Tawas Beach Rd.

The event is slated from 2-4 p.m., and participants will first decorate their bikes together before taking part in the parade.

Event goers are asked to meet at the campground host site for the activity, and it has been noted that the parade is only open to registered campers and their guests.

For more information, contact Park Supervisor Micah Jordan at 362-5041.

The red, white and blue fête in the Tawas area wouldn’t be complete without a fireworks display. So, to wrap up the day’s events, a show will take place on July 4 at 10 p.m.

The fireworks will once again be launched from a barge in Lake Huron, between East Tawas and Tawas City.

Those wishing to support the exhibit may purchase a colorful wristband for $5, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the cost of the fireworks.

Wristbands are available at the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as other local establishments, including Klenow’s Market, Mooney’s Ben Franklin, Mr. Jack’ss Sports Bar & Grill, Neiman’s Family Market, O’Connor’s, Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union, Augie’s on the Bay, Brew Krew, EuFloria, East Tawas City Park, Huron Community Bank, Tawas Bay Insurance Agency, Tawas Do-It Best Hardware and Lumber and the Village Chocolatier.

Oscoda:

Oscoda’s Fourth of July activities will kick off at 8:30 a.m. on Furtaw Field, with the Oscoda Township Fire Department (OTFD) Touch a Truck event. 

Family and friends are encouraged to visit the field – located downtown on US-23 – to meet the local fire department members and look at the equipment they use daily.

There will be opportunities to take photos, try on safety gear and see all the equipment acquired through the millage, including going inside the new dive rescue truck.

The OTFD will hold their event until 10 a.m., when the parade line-up is set to begin.

Only parade participants will be allowed on the field after 10 a.m. for safety reasons, according to Oscoda-AuSable Chamber of Commerce (OACC) Executive Director Rose Fulton. The parade will begin promptly at 11 a.m.

With the completion of the Cal McLaren Bridge (formerly known as the Mill Street Bridge) last summer, the parade route will run on South US-23 to West Mill Street. Participants are asked to line up on Furtaw Field entering US-23 via Water Street and head south to West Mill Street.

Those interested in participating in the parade can visit the OACC office on US-23, call 739-7322 or find registration forms at www.oscodachamber.com under the events section. The deadline to register is Tuesday, July 2, by 3 p.m.

Also, the Oscoda Eagles Aerie 4237 is seeking volunteers to help with intersection safety. Anyone interested is encouraged to call the Eagles at 739-9165.

Additionally, the chamber is requesting volunteers, as well as assistance, for parade line-up. Interested individuals are asked to call staff at the chamber office.

The 2019 Oscoda-AuSable Parade Grand Marshal will be Veteran’s Memorial Park Board Member Rose Mary Nentwig (see separate story for additional details).

AuSable Township Superintendent Leisa Sutton said that Nentwig has always been very involved in the community.

Following the parade will be a Freedom Festival at Oscoda Beach Park at 1:30 p.m., sponsored by Crusecom and the AuSable River Trading Post.

The festivities will feature Hippie Bob, Bob Hughes and Drastic Measures. The show will be headlined by Rockstar at 6 p.m.

Prior to the main performance, the Oscoda Lions Club and Oscoda Rotary Club will hold their seventh annual community picnic at the beach park, which is located on Lake  Huron at the end of River Road.

The picnic will begin at 5 p.m. with the selling of hot dogs, chips, apple pie and soft drinks at 50¢ a piece. The celebration will also include children’s games and prizes.

Guests will then want to stick around for the fireworks display, which will begin at dusk and will be launched off the Oscoda Beach Park observatory pier.

Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket to enjoy the show. Further information about the festivities is available by calling OACC staff.

Hale:

The Independence Day happenings in Hale will be split between two days, with a parade kicking things off at noon on July 4. The procession will commence from Kocher’s Market on M-65, and will wrap up at the Plainfield Township Fire Department property.

Anyone interested in participating in the parade is asked to contact Plainfield Township Clerk Sue Reilly at 728-2811.

According to Reilly, the community’s annual fireworks display will begin at dusk on Friday, July 5. The show will take place at the Iosco County Fairgrounds on M-65, across from Hale Baptist Church.

Reilly noted that, should the event be cancelled due to weather, a back-up date for the fireworks has been set for Sunday, July 7.

Whittemore:

Another chance to take in a colorful show will be offered at the Whittemore Speedway, which will be lighting off fireworks on Saturday, July 6.

Those who attend the races that evening will be treated to the show as part of their admission, with the fireworks being launched partway through the night as it gets darker.

The races kick off at about 7 p.m., and front gate fees on holiday/special event nights are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for those age 6-12, while children younger than 6 will be admitted for free. Pit side passes are also available at a cost of $25 per person.

For further information about the venue and races, visit www.whittemorespeedway.org.