EAST TAWAS – While most of the communities in Iosco County have opted for a scaled-down celebration this Fourth of July – in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – they will still proceed with some fireworks fun, per usual.
The Independence Day events for 2020 are listed as follows:
Those in Hale will be keeping things status quo this year, by hosting both their annual July 4 parade and a fireworks show.
According to Plainfield Township Clerk Sue Reilly, the fireworks will go off at dusk on Friday, July 3. They will be launched from the Iosco County Fairgrounds, located at 3600 N. M-65, across from Hale Baptist Church.
In the event of inclement weather, Reilly says a back-up date for the fireworks will be Sunday, July 5.
As for the parade, this will commence at noon on Saturday, July 4. Participants will first gather in the Hale Area Schools (HAS) parking lot, at 311 N. Washington (M-65), with the procession route to continue down M-65 to Roger’s Family Foods.
Reilly shared that HAS 2020 graduates, as well as other students, will be honored during the parade – which will also feature participation from not only local community members, but those from other areas throughout the county, as well.
For details on how to join the parade, or for other information on the Independence Day activities in Hale, Reilly may be contacted at 728-2811.
East Tawas and Tawas City
Although the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) has announced that the Fourth of July parade is cancelled, the fireworks show which is launched between the two communities will go on as planned.
TACC Board of Directors President Jeremy Broughton has explained that, with the launch location on Tawas Bay, this will offer a greater opportunity for socially distant participant viewing. With the parade, however, the board could not ensure that adequate safety measures could be enforced to provide for a participant environment that would meet social distancing recommendations.
“Neither decision was easy and came with lots of discussion among the board members, weighing pros and cons, and consulting with other agencies; in the end there was a split vote,” said Tawas City Manager Annge Horning – who also serves on the TACC Board – at a recent council meeting. “We’re all hoping the decisions are the best for our community.”
The July 4 display will begin at 10 p.m., with Horning noting that a barge will first be tethered to the pier at Tawas City Shoreline Park, to load the fireworks. It will then be moved to the launch site near Anchor Park on US-23, with everything controlled remotely from the deck of the building at that site.
Holiday visitors making a return to the area may also want to note that Christ Episcopal Church’s annual Strawberry Festival, as well as the July 4 Tawas Point State Park Bike Parade, have each been cancelled for 2020.
A number of activities have also been cancelled in Oscoda Township this year by their respective organizers, including the traditional Fourth of July parade, the Freedom Festival music show and the Oscoda Lions Club/Oscoda Rotary Club community picnic.
However, guests can ready themselves for some evening entertainment, as the municipality is known for putting on a dazzling fireworks display – which will still go on this year.
The show will be launched at dark above Lake Huron, from the observatory pier of Oscoda Beach Park, located at 201 E. River Rd.
Spectators are welcome to bring a chair or blanket to enjoy the show but, more importantly, the township is encouraging all attendees to practice social distancing.