ESCANABA - Independence Day is just around the corner, and local communities have planned a variety of family friendly events to celebrate.
The City of Gladstone Independence Day Celebration is a two-day event beginning Wednesday, July 3, at 1 p.m. in VanCleve Park and continuing until dusk on the Fourth of July.
Returning to the celebration this year is the Ultimate Air Dogs dock jumping competition. Competing dogs jump from a dock into a large pool and are judged on distance. Each day's competition will start with the first competitive jump, called a "Splash," at 1 p.m. and continuing until 6 p.m. Check in and practice time will be available one hour before each scheduled Splash.
More information about the Ultimate Air Dogs and competition rules can be found online at www.ultimateairdogs.com.
On Wednesday, the park will also be filled with food vendors, kids games, and inflatable jumpers; an open house for the new harbor docks will take place from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and the Flat Broke Blue Band will perform from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Festivities will continue Thursday at 8 a.m. with the Kiwanis Firecracker Run. Registration for the five-mile race will take place from 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. at VanCleve Park with the race beginning at 8 a.m.
The patriotic-themed parade will begin at 11 a.m. downtown and will feature Grand Marshals Anders Nyberg and Boy Scout Troop 466.
Activities at VanCleve Park will continue Thursday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. with the addition of the Kiwanis dunk tank, a trout pond, hole-in-one game, and live music from the Escanaba German Band and Remnants Barbershop Chorus. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Darrel Syria Project will perform with fireworks following at dusk.
In Escanaba's Ludington Park, the 2013 Rotary Club of Escanaba Day in the Park Fourth of July Celebration activities begin at 1 p.m. on July 4. Food, vendors, kid's games, and an inflatable climbing wall will be available.
Escanaba Public Safety will also be at the event displaying a fire truck and giving Jaws of Life and police dog demonstrations from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
At 8:30 p.m. the Escanaba City Band will perform at the band shell, and fireworks will conclude the event at 10 p.m.
In Manistique the Independence Day Celebrations will take place on Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6. The Kiddie Parade will begin at 6 p.m. with line-up taking place at 5 p.m. in front of the Post Office. Festivities will continue Saturday with the Art Fair at Central Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Independence Day parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. with line-up at 11:30 a.m. on the west side of town.
The fireworks display on the waterfront will take place at 10:30 p.m. Due to the Manistique Municipal Marina renovation, the marina will be closed during the fireworks display.
Residents will still be able to view the display from the Westside Boat Launch and from other waterfront property. A rain date for the fireworks display has been set for July 13 at 10:30 p.m.
Bark River will celebrate the Independence Day on July 4 with a parade beginning at Rays Feed Mill at 11 a.m. and ending at the Bark River Sports Complex. Prizes will be awarded for the top three floats, and a 50/50 raffle will take place before the parade begins.
A community-wide picnic will also be held at the Bark River Sports Complex with children's games, food, and refreshments. Live music will be provided by the Delta Drifters from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the celebration will conclude with fireworks at dusk.
The Powers-Spalding Independence Day Celebration is scheduled for July 5. The parade will begin at 5 p.m. CDT with festivities following at Veterans' Memorial Park in Powers. Activities will include volleyball, basketball, horse shoes, kids' games, food, and refreshments.
A fishing derby will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and live music will be provided by OZ from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Rides home from the park are available.
Hermansville's Independence Day celebration and the Hermansville Car Club annual car show will take place on Saturday, July 6.
Registration for the car show will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. CDT by the IXL Museum on River Street. Pre-1993 vehicles are welcome at the event and dash plaques will be given to the first 100 vehicles. Registration is $5 and proceeds will fund a scholarship for North Central High School students. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m. For more information, contact the Hermansville Car Club at 639-3155.
Independence Day festivities will take place at the Hermansville Lake and Park. A parade will begin at 10 a.m. and festivities will continue until 6 p.m. Activities will include a fireman's competition, children's games, bounce houses, food, and live music. In addition, both the IXL Historical Museum and the Vietnam Veterans museum will be open.
A fireworks display will take place in the evening sponsored by the Meyer Township Volunteer Fire Department.
The Trenary Lions Club 78th Annual Fourth of July celebration will be held July 4. A parade through the downtown led by Little Lake Color Guard will kick off the festivities at 11 a.m.
Starting at noon at the Lions Park will be games, pony rides, pasties, and other foods and refreshments. A coed volleyball tournament will begin at 1 p.m. Parking at the park is free and public restrooms are available.
Live music will be provided by Maudie at 1 p.m. and by The Fitch Band at 6:30 p.m. The Lions Club raffle drawing is scheduled for 6 p.m. and fireworks will take place at dusk. For more information, contact Roy at 446-3219.
Curtis' 40th Annual Independence Day Celebration will take place on Sunday, July 7. "The biggest little town parade in Michigan" will begin at 12:30 p.m. This year's parade theme is "Remember When" and plaques will be awarded to winning floats or marching units that match the parade theme.
Events include children's inflatable games, a Curtis Women's Club bake sale table, a Chamber refreshment tent, and live music. More than 40 arts and crafts booths will open at 10 a.m. and the Lions chicken barbecue will be served starting at 11 a.m.
Several bands will provide live music following the parade and the fireworks display will begin at dusk. For more information, contact the Curtis Chamber of Commerce at 586-3700.