Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Copper Harbor 4th - Parade

This is the second installment in my series detailing the annual Independence Day celebration in Copper Harbor - very heavy on the photos today.

We awoke early on the morning of July 4th - eager to get the golf cart decorated for the parade through town. I put on a pot of coffee while Steve ran down to the little bakery on the waterfront to get some of their delicious bacon and cheddar scones for breakfast. He delivered 2 of the scones to room 19 for our buddies, Marty & Donna. (Remember, these rooms do not come equipped with a coffee maker, so bringing our own was definitely the way to go - so much better than getting a small foam cup of coffee at the Bella Vista motel office. I'm sure some of you are thinking: What kind of motel room doesn't come with a coffee maker? Hey, this is Copper Harbor! There are no motel chains in this tiny resort town. Vintage lodging is the norm here. The Bella Vista is our favorite motel in the Harbor - clean rooms with a refrigerator - on the waterfront. It's really ALL about the view and the experience of being IN Copper Harbor, so I'll gladly bring my own coffee and coffee maker.) Anyway, as I was getting ready for the day, Steve was out on the deck - sharing our coffee with several of our motel neighbors who also have standing reservations every year.

We decided to leave the Corvette at home this year and use the golf cart for the parade instead. I was a little more understated in the decorating this time. . .

but I didn't forget about the candy. I bought 14 lbs. last year, and I upped it to 18.36 lbs. (2,270 pieces) this year - still ran a little short! The best part of being in the parade is throwing candy to the kids. We always hope it helps create good memories of Copper Harbor for them.

OK, time to start lining up on one of the side streets. 

The fire trucks are always at the head of the pack. They drive a short way down Hwy. 26, turn around and form a line to come back through town. The rest of us get in line behind them.

We took our place in line after these 2 tractors.

The man on the right lives on our road.

At first, the crowd is sparse.

We begin to see more people as we approach the traffic light at Hwy. 41.


Suddenly, we're so busy throwing candy that it's difficult to find time to snap pictures!

The parade route turns right off Hwy. 41 and heads through the Lake Fanny Hooe Resort.

When we get back to Hwy. 41, we turn right and head out of Copper Harbor toward Fort Wilkins.

Fort Wilkins has 2 campgrounds, and the parade goes through both of them. We were really rationing our candy by this point to try to have at least one piece for every child we saw, but we ran out just before the final curve of the last campground. Next year = at least 20 lbs.

This all took over an hour and the parade participants headed back toward Copper Harbor - full speed ahead. I managed to get a quick snap of the Copper Harbor Lighthouse through the trees.


It was impossible to get our electric golf cart up to the speed of the fire trucks (but we did pass the tractors), so we had some distance between us and them on the way back. I was actually surprised the ATV's in back of us didn't pass us, but they were content to stay behind.

We headed back down into Copper Harbor - determined to catch up to the fire trucks. 

Steve raced down one of the side streets to intercept them at the waterfront. Success!

We got back in line and headed toward the final curve by our motel. 

There's Marty & Donna snapping photos as we were about to round the curve. (Oh, our motel neighbors from Las Vegas - in the red shirts - were there, too. What a hoot!)

I took one final shot as we came out of the curve. These ATV's obviously got out of line and took a shortcut back to the motel.

Those were some of the photos I took. Now, I'll show you some shots Marty took. Since he was a parade spectator, he could capture things I couldn't. 

Here's the start of the parade - led by the Grand Marshall from the Minnetonka Resort as usual.

She was followed by the Keweenaw County Sheriff and the Copper Harbor/Grant Township fire trucks and ambulance.

This group came next. I don't believe the kids walked the entire parade route - probably stayed in town - as that excited black dog was quite a lot to handle. Actually, I don't think any of the walkers or bike riders went the entire route. 

Who are these nuts?

Yep, that's my hubby - smiling at Marty on one side and waving at Donna on the other side.

This guy definitely gets my vote for the best dressed award. 

We had lots of ATV's participating in the parade - more than I can remember from previous years.

The 8-legged fish was back again.

This nice truck and trailer represented the Bella Vista Motel.  

VertiYak - good idea and catchy name!

The king and queen of what? Or where?

Another truck.

Beautiful horses.

And these are the photos Marty took as we were heading for that last curve on the way back to the motel.

I took a photo of them taking our photo, and they took photos of us taking their photo.

As you can tell, this isn't a parade that takes itself too seriously. No marching bands or flower-covered floats here. Just a bunch of crazy and enthusiastic people celebrating Independence Day in Michigan's northern-most town.

Up next: Fireworks!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

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