Fourth of July parade, Art on the Bay canceled

News Photo by Julie Riddle Paradegoers honor the flag as Alpena turns out to celebrate American independence during its Fourth of July celebrations in 2019.

ALPENA — Organizers announced today that the annual Independance Day Parade and the Art on the Bay craft show will not take place because of the the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been torn on this decision,” parade sponsor and organizer Casey Stutzman, said in a press release. “It comes with a very heavy heart. After reaching out to other similar-sized cities across the state we found that others have also struggled with cancellation decisions, but when the pros and cons are written out on paper it makes it difficult to justify the risk of moving forward. We tried to hold off for as long as possible but with the Stay-at-Home orders continuously extending, it squeezed out any possibility of responsibly and safely moving forward with a parade at this time.”

Thunder Bay Arts said separately that the Art on the Bay show scheduled for July 18 and 19 is canceled.

“In these unprecedented times and with heavy hearts, we have made the decision to cancel our 2020 Art on the Bay Art Show,” said Thunder Bay Arts board President Ann Diamond. “The safety and health of our entire community, guests, vendors, and volunteers is our first priority and was top of mind with making the decision.”

The group is planning for next year’s event, on July 17 and 18, 2021.

The parade joins the Thunder Bay Maritime Festival and other events in the area on the Fourth of July that have been canceled or scaled back, as well as many other popular events and festivals in the area this summer.

The city’s annual fireworks display is still scheduled to take place, as long as it complies with any regulations established by the state. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s current coronavirus-related orders allow crowds of up to 100 people. Thousands typically visit Alpena for the fireworks.


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