EAST TAWAS – With the events that are planned for this weekend, Iosco County residents and visitors won’t have to wait until Monday, July 4, to begin enjoying some Independence Day festivities. Of course there is plenty in store on the Fourth of July also, and the activities which have been set for Monday, as well as this weekend, are outlined below.
A parade in Hale will signal the start of this year’s Independence Day events across the county, and the procession is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday, July 2.
Those joining as participants are asked to line up at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 407 S. Washington St. (M-65), where the parade will commence. The route will proceed through downtown, wrapping up in the parking lot of Hale Area Schools.
Plainfield Township Clerk Sue Reilly says that anyone who wishes to participate can simply head to the church and join the lineup that morning.
Later on, the sky in Hale will alight with an aerial display, as the annual fireworks show is also slated for this Saturday.
Beginning at dusk, Reilly says that the fireworks 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, a backup date of Sunday, July 3, has been arranged for the show.
Further questions about the events may be directed to Reilly, by calling 728-2811.
Like Hale, those in the nearby community of Whittemore will also have an early opportunity to check out some fireworks on Saturday, July 2.
As noted on the Whittemore Speedway website, attendees of the evening races – during which the fifth annual Goofy 50 event will be held – will be treated to a fireworks display partway through the night, as well.
The races will start at 7 p.m., with event classes including street stocks/sportsman, lead sleds, front wheel drives and trucks.
The venue’s weekly admission prices are $15 for adults ($16 if paying by credit/debit card), $10 for those age 6-16 ($11 if paying by credit/debit card) and $10 for seniors and veterans. There is no charge for active military personnel who present their ID, and children 5 and younger are also admitted for free.
The Whittemore Speedway is located at 200 W. State St. (M-65), and more information is available by calling 305-1082, sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.whittemorespeedway.org. The website also contains such details as a list of the grandstand/gate policies, upcoming events and past race results.
The annual parade and fireworks in Oscoda Township will be back this Fourth of July but, prior to these events on Monday, will be the Freedom Fest and Paul Bunyan Challenge activities offered by 3Disciplines.
A variety of races will be held starting at 8 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and July 3. They will begin from the Van Etten Lake beach at Ken Ratliff Memorial Park, on F-41, and large flags will be in place designating the check-in area.
Organizers state that Freedom Fest and the Paul Bunyan Challenge are a great way to kick off Fourth of July weekend with family and friends on the Sunrise Side. The races will start and conclude at the beach, with finish medals being handed out to all participants. Awards, food, fun and fitness for the entire family will also be on hand.
To register for any of these events, and to view a list of the various race fees, go to http://www.3disciplines.com. The website also features details on what to bring at check-in, course information and more.
Online registration will close at 11:59 p.m. this Thursday, June 30, but participants can also sign up and get their packet the morning of the events – from 6:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. for Freedom Fest, and from 6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. for the Paul Bunyan Challenge. (See separate story for more information).
Come Monday, the celebrations will continue with the Fourth of July parade, which Oscoda-AuSable Chamber of Commerce (OACC) representatives advise will begin at 11 a.m.
The parade will form at Furtaw Field on US-23, starting at 10 a.m. It will then proceed south, through downtown Oscoda, to West Mill Street in AuSable Township.
Parade entry forms are available in the OACC office, located at 4440 N. US-23 in Oscoda, and more details are available by calling 739-7322. While there isn’t a firm cutoff time for entrants, it is highly recommended that those interested in participating apply by this Friday, July 1, as the chamber office will be closed over the weekend.
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Independence Day, the Oscoda Lions Club and Rotary Club of Oscoda will host their ninth community picnic at Oscoda Beach Park, located on Lake Huron at the end of River Road. Activities will include children’s games and sand castle building, along with the sale of picnic-style food and drinks.
Park guests will want to save their seats following the community picnic, as a dazzling display is slated to begin at dusk. The Fourth of July fireworks show will again be launched from the pier at Oscoda Beach Park and, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, a backup date of Tuesday, July 5 has been set.
The fireworks in Oscoda have earned a positive reputation and, for those wanting to help ensure the ongoing success of the spectacle, OACC representatives say that donations are still being accepted.
They add that no contribution is too small, and any amount is greatly appreciated. A donation box is situated at the OACC office, and contributions can also be mailed to the chamber, courtesy of the fireworks committee, at 4440 N. US-23, Oscoda, MI, 48750.
East Tawas and Tawas City:
Christ Episcopal Church, located on the corner of West Westover and Sawyer streets in East Tawas, will hold their annual Strawberry Festival on Monday, July 4.
Representative Kathy Nelkie says that it will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church and, along with the sale of strawberry shortcakes and sundaes, there will also be hot dogs, chips and drinks available.
A parade at 11 a.m. on Monday will begin the 2022 Independence Day Celebration organized by the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC). With a theme of “United We Stand,” the July 4 procession will start out at the corner of Newman and Lincoln streets in downtown East Tawas, head to US-23, and then proceed down that road into Tawas City, concluding at Whittemore Street.
Selected as this year’s parade grand marshal is local resident and Tawas City Fire Chief Steve Masich. (See separate story for more information).
TACC reminds participants that for the safety of viewers, candy and other giveaways cannot be thrown during the parade; however, walkers may hand out items to the attendees.
As previously reported, parade applications are due by today (Wednesday). Those interested in taking part can learn more by contacting TACC representatives at 362-8643, sending an e-mail to email@example.com, stopping by the chamber office at 228 Newman St. in East Tawas or visiting www.tawas.com and selecting “2022 Independence Day Celebration” to download an application.
Later in the evening, a fireworks display will be launched from the pier in Tawas City Shoreline Park, located at 429 W. Lake St. (US-23). The show will begin at dusk, approximately 10 p.m.
Those from TACC and the Light up the Bay Fireworks Committee, along with community members and businesses, have worked year-round to raise money for the 2022 show and carry on the success of last year’s display.
To help with these efforts, the committee has been selling T-shirts featuring a list of sponsors and the “Light up the Bay” logo. While supplies last, the shirts will continue to be sold in the TACC office, Neiman’s Family Market at 220 W. Lake St. (US-23) in Tawas City and at various events throughout the summer.
In addition to having fireworks donation canisters in their establishments, several local businesses are also supporting the fundraiser by selling flag hangers for $1 each.
A raffle has been ongoing, as well, and tickets are $10 apiece. Only 1,000 will be sold and, unless they are gone before then, the last day to purchase a ticket is tomorrow (Thursday).
The grand prize is $2,000 and the second place prize is $1,000, followed by two winners receiving $500 each. The winning names will be announced at the TACC office on Friday, July 1, during a Facebook live drawing.
For more details about the Fourth of July events in the Tawas area, go to www.tawas.com.