Fourth of July is the busiest day of the year in northern Michigan, and Harbor Springs is known as one of the region’s patriotic celebration hotspots. With long-standing traditions and all-day activities, downtown is sure to be packed with folks in their star -spangled best.
Here’s a rundown of events:
On July 3, Bay Harbor will host its fireworks display at dusk.
On July 4, start the day by supporting the Harbor Springs Cross Country and Track and Field teams, with the annual Paul Revere 5k and 10 mile run. The 10 miler begins at 8 am, with the 5K kicking off at 8:15 am on Bay Street in downtown Harbor Springs. A $ 25 dollar donation (price increases slightly after June 30) gets runners a t-shirt (first come first serve for folks who have not yet registered) and bib number, and lots of gratitude from the high school teams. To register or learn more, go to runsignup.com and search Harbor Springs.
For race spectators or participants post finish line, the American Legion is a perfect spot to fuel up for the rest of the day, with the annual pancake breakfast happening from 8 am-11 am at the Smith-Hoover Post downtown, 101 E. Third Street.
The Harbor Springs Community Schools juried Art in the Park event takes place in Zorn Park from 9 am-4 pm With tons of artists, craftspeople, and unique gift ideas, this is always a strolling favorite on the Fourth.
The famous Fourth of July parade begins at 1 pm in downtown Harbor Springs. It runs from City Hall down Main Street, turning on State Street and making its way back down Bay Street. As a reminder, chairs may be set out at 7 am the morning of July 4 (chairs, blankets, or other “space savers” that get set out prior to 7 am on July 4 may be removed by Harbor Springs police officers, as there is a City Ordinance in place to keep sidewalks clear and pedestrian traffic as safe as possible).
Across the Bay, Petoskey’s Grandpa Shorter’s Fourth of July Parade kicks off at 6 pm at the Petoskey High School, making its way down Mitchell Street, across Petoskey Street, and up Lake Street, where it ends at the Gazebo in Pennsylvania Park.
Also in Petoskey, from 7-9 pm, Little Traverse Historical Society will host its ice cream social at the Little Traverse History Museum in Bayfront Park, and live music entertainment will kick off, also at 7 pm at Festival Place (behind City Hall, near the Breakwall), and will continue until dusk.
Fireworks will take place at dusk over the Harbor in Harbor Springs and in the Bay in Petoskey.
Those wishing to partake in some Fourth of July spirits in Harbor Springs should also note that the Marina Park area is designated for alcohol consumption, but all other public spaces downtown do not allow for open containers.
“We just want to remind everyone that this is an incredibly busy day, and for motorists to be extra careful, watching for bike and pedestrian traffic. In addition, we ask cyclists to also remember to obey the rules of the road, because we want to keep this a safe and fun holiday for all, ”said Harbor Springs police chief, Kyle Knight.
Knight also cautioned those partaking in watersports to be extra careful because the Harbor is especially busy during the holiday weekend, and noted those who plan to shoot off fireworks should follow state laws, and take precautions to ensure their displays are full of fun and free of injury.
“It’s a busy weekend, and I always like to remind people to have patience.We are fortunate to have mostly incident-free Fourths of July, and by going the extra mile to be kind, we can all just enjoy being here, in such a special town, to celebrate the Fourth. ”