Summer is here and it’s time to get your grills going, pack up the beach bags, and lock down your 4th of July plans for a Northern Michigan vacation. There are plenty of Northern Michigan travel ideas for 4th of July celebrations in Harbor Springs and Petoskey. From music to parades and fireworks, these Fourth of July events are sure to be booming with fun.


Join the Petoskey community for a festive 4th of July filled with music, parades and ice cream. Head to Pennsylvania Park from 4 pm to 6 pm before the parade to rock out to Tommy Tropic and Friends’ Busker Mania. If you’re more of a history buff, stop by the installation of the Braun Hotel Historic Sign at Gattle’s before the parade starts at 5 pm, where you can learn the history of the building and meet some of the descendants of the family who helped research the building’s history.

The Petoskey 4th of July parade starts at 6 pm and the parade route is as follows: Hill St. to Kalamazoo to Mitchell St. to Petoskey St. to Lake St., ending at the gazebo in Pennsylvania Park. Finish off the parade with an ice cream social from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Little Traverse History Museum. Finally, cozy up for the fireworks display over Little Traverse Bay. Show starts at dusk. Don’t forget a picnic basket and blankets.

Harbor Springs

Independence Day celebrations in Harbor Springs starts with the 4th of July Art Fair held in Zorn Park from 10 am to 5 pm.

Don’t miss the Fourth of July parade that begins at 1 pm at Zoll and Main Street and heads west from Main to State St. Excellent viewing spots are available along Main, State and Bay. The parade will include professional flag jumper, Randall Fortner, who will glide gracefully over the parade displaying an enormous 40′ x 20′ American flag beneath him. Look skyward around 1:30 pm for the spectacular .

When the parade ends it’s time to head over to the Harbor Springs waterfront for live music. This annual event takes place by the water. The public is invited to visit the beer garden as locally crafted microbrews, domestic beers and select wines are served overlooking Little Traverse Bay. Live music runs from 2:30 pm to 5:30, and there’s a $5 cover charge. Must be 21 years or older to attend.

Otherwise, catch the ‘Citizen of the Year’ celebration at Shay Park while the Young Americans perform live at 3:00 pm. This event will honor Mr. John Demmer, Harbor Springs’ citizen of the year for 2014. Event is free to attend.

Finally, cap off your day with the Harbor Springs fireworks over the bay at dusk. Bring blankets, bring food, and relax as you catch a breathtaking display.

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