Alcona County's Independence Day festivities will be spread out over two days and three townships this year, as Barton City and Glennie host their own celebrations on Wednesday preceding Harrisville's main event on Saturday.
Participants will line up at VFW Post 9135 at 10 a.m. Wednesday for Barton City's annual parade, which starts at 11 a.m. and will last about an hour until kid's races, games, a beer tent, food vendors, and other activities take over around noon at Barton City Community Park. Sponsored and organized by the Barton City Improvement Association, Barton City's signature "Biggest Little Fourth in the North" fireworks start at dusk over Jewell Lake and were listed recently as the country's best small town fireworks display by American Profile magazine. Millen Township Supervisor Jim Burger estimated the event draws 2,000-5,000 people a year, and he credited donations and volunteers for its success as a massive get-together for families and friends.
"It's a kind of reunion time for folks. People come back to the small town. Either that, or because we're by a lake, we have a lot of resort cottages, so people come up to visit their grandparents who have retired up here, things like that," he said.
Glennie's holiday celebration starts at 11 a.m. Wednesday with carnival games, food vendors, and a craft show at Warren Mervyn Field courtesy of Curtis Township, the Curtis Activity Committee, and the Curtis Area Emergency Relief Fund. The parade starts at 2 p.m. and the fireworks at sundown. Coordinating the event for the first time, Curtis Township Clerk Teresa Perkins also endorsed Glennie's annual festivities as a time for reunions and local solidarity.
"The entire community comes together," she said. "For a small community, they're awesome fireworks, and the whole carnival games and the Fourth of July activities, it's just really awesome for a small township."
Harrisville elected to put off its Fourth of July traditions until Saturday. The all-day bash starts with the 36th annual children's parade for which participants will gather at 12:30 p.m. by Richard's Pharmacy, then march at 1 p.m. through downtown Harrisville and north on Lake Street to the Vet's Club building for refreshments from members of VFW Post 6466. Festivities continue all day with the Harrisville Lions Club's annual duck race fundraiser from Mill Creek to the Harrisville Harbor, Dragonfly Art Gallery's "Art in the Tent" exhibit from noon to 4 p.m., and a professional frisbee dog show at 2 p.m. by Flying Aces founder Brian Hayes.
Hayes will brief the audience on the history of Frisbees, run through the tips and tricks of dog training, and finish with a stunt show and autographed frisbee giveaway. A patriotic music mix from local DJ Rex Manning will warm up the crowd at the harbor starting at 7 p.m. until the fireworks at sunset, courtesy of the Huron Shores Chamber of Commerce. The fireworks will be pushed back to Sunday if weather requires.
Andrew Westrope can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5693.