Alcona County is set to celebrate the nation's independence with parades, picnics and lots of booming fireworks Friday and Saturday.
Fireworks are planned for Barton City, Harrisville, Hubbard Lake and Glennie. Barton City and Glennie will have fireworks displays on the Fourth of July, and Harrisville and Hubbard Lake will have theirs on Saturday. All four communities have events planned for Independence Day, the surrounding weekend or both.
Barton City's "biggest little Fourth in the north" begins at 10 a.m. Friday with a parade starting at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, 2120 W. Trask Lake Road, Alcona County Chamber of Commerce volunteer John Bhend said. The parade will go to Millen Township Park, where there will be concessions and other activities. These include kids races at 1 p.m. and a sawdust pile greased pole competition at 2 p.m.
Fireworks start Friday at dusk and will be shot from an island in Jewel Lake, Bhend said. Activities continue the next day with breakfast in the township park starting at 8 a.m., sponsored by the Barton City Fire Department. A baseball game between Lincoln and Barton City is set for Sunday.
Harrisville's celebration starts at 1 p.m. Saturday with the 38th annual parade, starting near the intersection of Third and Main streets, Bhend said. It's a kids parade, so all children are invited to participate. That's followed by a Lions Club duck race at the mill pond at 4 p.m., music at the harbor at 7 p.m. and fireworks over the harbor at dusk.
The Weekend Arts and Crafts Show also starts Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bhend said. It's held on the grounds of the Craftmakers Cabin on US-23.
Hubbard Lake kicks off the weekend with its annual boat parade starting at 12 p.m. Friday in front of Churchill Pointe Inn, 5700 Bennett Rd., Hubbard Lake Community Association President Jeff Johnston said. Participants are welcome to decorate their boats.
On Saturday, fireworks will be launched over the lake from Hardwoods Point at dusk, Johnston said, with a rain date set for Sunday. They're visible from all public boat launches, and boaters are cautioned to stay back from the launch area. The display is called Celebration of Community, dedicated to the Butler-VanderLinden families who supported the fireworks in the past. The two families ask those who appreciate the fireworks to make a donation to the HLCA's Library/Community Center Fund.
Johnston said the fund currently stands at $105,000, thanks in part to a $25,000 gift from a local family in the fall. Anyone wishing to donate can call Barb Frantz at the Community Foundation of Northeastern Michigan at 354-6881, Johnston at Q & C Family Market at 727-2094, or use an envelope available at Hubbard Lake area businesses.
Independence Day fun in Glennie starts at 9 a.m. Friday at the Curtis Township Hall, 4932 F-30, Curtis Activity Committee Chairwoman Teresa Perkins said. That's the former Glennie Elementary School. The breakfast continues until noon, with a craft show starting at 11 a.m.
The parade starts at 2 p.m. with awards to follow, a birds of prey show is at the township hall at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m., and there's a book sale at the Curtis Township Library next door from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Perkins said. Fireworks are at dusk.