WHITTEMORE – From parades and formal services, to rodeos and races, a plethora of activities have been scheduled throughout Iosco County in recognition of Memorial Day.
Those looking to pay tribute to the men and women who gave their lives while serving their country will have plenty of opportunities to do so in the coming days. Events have been set for prior to, on and after Memorial Day, which falls on Monday, May 27.
The activities to be held throughout the county are broken down by municipality, as follows:
A weekend long affair, the Whittemore Community Memorial Day Celebration, will be presented by the Whittemore Area Chamber of Commerce.
The itinerary for Friday, May 24, begins with popcorn, movies and crafts at 1 p.m. in the Whittemore Library, located at 483 S. Bullock.
A teen dance featuring DJ John Horn will then be held from 7-10 p.m. in the Whittemore Chamber building, located at 405 E. Sherman St.
A pancake breakfast at the chamber, from 8-11 a.m., will kick things off on Saturday, May 25.
The traditional Memorial Day parade will begin at 11 a.m. from Whittemore Speedway, located at 200 W. State St. (M-65), and will conclude at the Whittemore Area Chamber of Commerce property.
Attendees will want to stick around at the chamber following the procession, as the venue will also feature a Memorial Day ceremony which will include the National Anthem, a gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”
The ceremony will be carried out by the Hale Area Veterans Honor Guard, which consists of those from Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 7435 and its auxiliary, American Legion Post 422 and its auxiliary and Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 882 and associates.
Parade awards, vendors and children’s games will all be offered at the chamber, as well, in addition to the Burleigh-Reno-Whittemore Fire Department hosting a cookout, beginning at noon.
A new event will take place at the arena of the chamber property, starting at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
According to Pauline Ferns, the Michigan High School Rodeo Association has contracted with the Whittemore Area Chamber of Commerce to hold the Junior High Division State Finals in 2019, and again in 2020.
Ferns notes that the Michigan High School Rodeo Association is a youth-based organization where students in grades six through eight in the Junior High Division, and grades nine through 12 in the High School Division, participate in rodeo competitions.
Members compete all throughout Michigan during the year, for year-end awards. It is upon completion of the state finals when the top four in each event qualify for the National High School Rodeo Association National Finals in their respective divisions.
Ferns added that members also compete for scholarship dollars to help continue their education after high school.
Events the students will be competing in include team roping, break away roping, tie down calf roping, pole bending, barrel racing, bull riding, steer riding, saddle bronc, bareback riding, goat tying, chute dogging, steer wrestling, 22. Light rifle competition and Princess and Queen competition.
Area students who will be taking part are Carly Cowles, Krista Cowles, Hanna Daniels, Zach Daniels and Colyn Mackenzie, all from Whittemore; Makayla Mayhan-West, West Branch; Sarah Murringer, Tawas; and Alyssa Vineyard, Roscommon.
The events on Saturday will be capped off with the opening night of races at Whittemore Speedway, beginning at 7 p.m.
The celebration will continue the following day, with another pancake breakfast at the chamber from 8-11 a.m.
Food, vendors and children’s games will again be offered at the chamber, as well, beginning at noon. This will be followed by a raffle drawing at 3 p.m.
Additionally, there will be weekend specials and deals available at a number of Whittemore businesses.
For further details on the Whittemore Community Memorial Day Celebration, visit www.whittcham.org.
The events in Hale will take place on Memorial Day, May 27, beginning with a parade at 10 a.m.
VFW Post 7435 and VVA Chapter 882 representative Terry Frank said the procession will start from Bernard Building Center, located at 395 S. Washington St. (M-65), and end at the former Plainfield Township Hall.
A service will then be held at this site after the parade, and will feature patriotic music from the Hale Area Schools band.
From here, attendees are invited to Esmond Evergreen Cemetery for a formal Memorial Day service, which Frank said will include the National Anthem, a gun salute, the playing of “Taps” and a roll call of the names of each of the Veterans who have been laid to rest at the cemetery.
Frank encourages guests to bring chairs to the service, as it takes some time to carry out the roll call.
Following this, all are welcome to enjoy a light lunch at VFW Post 7435, located at 203 E. Ainsley St.
The Hale Area Veterans will then continue the formal Memorial Day services at several other area cemeteries, with Frank noting that the times listed below are approximate.
Pioneer Cemetery, on Old State Road in Grant Township, 1 p.m.; Reno Township Cemetery, on Towerline Road in Whittemore, 1:45 p.m.; Saints Cemetery, Whittemore, 2:30 p.m.; and Burleigh Cemetery, 2736 Wilson Creek Rd., 3:15 p.m.
Tawas City and East Tawas
The 27th annual Memorial Weekend Arts & Crafts Show will take place in Tawas City on both Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26. It will again be held in Tawas City Shoreline Park, located on US-23.
Hosted by the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce, representatives say this year’s show will exhibit more than 150 crafter booths.
The event is expected to feature a diverse collection of handmade goods, including leather items, yard art, furniture, home décor, clothes, doll accessories, lotions, paintings, photography, jewelry and rugs, in addition to such food items as salsa, fudge, spices, nuts and kettle corn.
The show will be held on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Parking is available in both Shoreline Park and across the street in the Iosco County Courthouse parking lot.
For those who want to park and ride, the chamber will provide free shuttle service between downtown East Tawas, Brugger’s Plaza, Tawas City Veteran’s Park and Shoreline Park.
Once the weekend wraps up, the Tawas Area Veterans Honor Guard will be participating in a number of events on Monday, which the public is encouraged to attend.
VFW Post 5678 Commander Dennis Frank shared that a ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Tawas City, located at 427 Meadowview Dr.
A parade will then be held in East Tawas, starting at 11 a.m. It will commence from the Post Office on Newman Street and conclude near the DNR State Dock at East Tawas Harbor Park.
While at the dock, Frank said a ceremony will take place to recognize those lost at sea.
Following this, all are welcome to attend a ceremony at the American Legion Cemetery on Lincoln Street in East Tawas.
The acknowledgement of those who made the ultimate sacrifice will continue on Thursday, May 30, at Tawas City Veteran’s Park, located on the corner of US-23 and Mathews Street adjacent to the city hall building.
As Frank has explained, the original date of Memorial Day is May 30, and many Veterans groups continue to recognize this through annual traditions.
Therefore, the Tawas Area Veterans Honor Guard will hold a service at the park on this day, beginning at 10 a.m.
Oscoda Township will kick off its Memorial Day tributes with local military Veterans inviting the public to join them as they place American Flags on the graves of deceased military personnel who are buried in Pinecrest Cemetery.
The event will begin on Friday at 9 a.m., and the flags will reside there through Veterans Day in the fall.
On Monday, American Legion Post 274 will hold a Memorial Day service at 11 a.m., along with those from Oscoda VFW Post 3735.
The service will be held at the Legion post, located at 849 S. State St., and will include a luncheon.
Following the meal, residents and visitors are encouraged to make their way over to the Oscoda Veterans Memorial Park for a flag raising ceremony at the Circle of Flags at 1 p.m.
The American Flag and Prisoners of War Flag will be brought out on two mounted horses while the National Anthem plays, according to Marketing and Communications Veterans Memorial Park board member Joe Brinn.
A fly over will accompany the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Visitors can also observe and learn about a partially restored Vietnam helicopter, which will be on display courtesy of the Wurtsmith Air Museum.
Hot dogs and water will be provided following the ceremony, until supplies run out.
For questions about the event or the Oscoda Veterans Memorial Park, contact Brinn at 906-2155.