EAST TAWAS – Independence Day is tomorrow (Thursday), July 4, and those throughout Iosco County are gearing up once again for the numerous events to be enjoyed both on and after the holiday.

The activities available in the following communities are listed below.

Tawas City and East Tawas:

Fourth of July fun in the Tawas area will begin 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.

Parade goers will want to keep an eye out for the colorful floats, as Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce representatives say 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.

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

To wrap up the day’s events, a fireworks display will take place on July 4 at 10 p.m. They will once again be launched from a barge in Lake Huron, between East Tawas and Tawas City.

For further information about the Independence Day events in the Tawas area, chamber representatives may be reached by calling 362-8643.

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 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.

The Oscoda Eagles Aerie 4237 is seeking volunteers to help with intersection safety. Anyone interested is asked to call 739-9165.

Additionally, the chamber is requesting volunteers, as well as assistance, for parade line-up. For further details, call 739-7322 or visit www.oscodachamber.com.

The 2019 Oscoda-AuSable Parade Grand Marshal is Veteran’s Memorial Park Board Member Rose Mary Nentwig.

Following the parade will be the third annual 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 can then take in 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.

According to Township Clerk Sue 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 – beginning at 7 p.m. 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.

For more information, visit www.whittemorespeedway.org.