‘Tis the season of tan lines, sandals and the biggest birthday of the year. It’s time to plan your Northern Michigan vacation and celebrate our country’s independence in the quaint lakeside towns of Harbor Springs, Petoskey and Boyne City near beautiful Little Traverse Bay and Lake Charlevoix.
There is nothing small about the Fourth of July celebrations in Harbor Springs. From the parade to the fireworks, this small town knows how to throw a birthday party.
Lace up your running shoes and join in the Paul Revere 3- or 10-mile runs. You can register for the races here. Then head over to the Fourth of July parade at 1 p.m. Directly following, watch the march of the bagpipers along Bay Street. You’ll find the best viewing spots for the parade along Main, State and Bay Streets. At dusk, find a spot to watch the fireworks, which are launched over the harbor from a barge.
Stop in Petoskey for a red, white and blue bonanza. The city’s Fourth of July celebration is filled with music, parades and great food. Start the day exploring the local beaches, and search for Petoskey stones with the kids. Then head over to Petoskey’s Historic Gaslight District for an afternoon of shopping. For more than 100 years, the district has been home to a collection of independent shops, boutiques and galleries. Don’t forget to stop for lunch!
The parade steps off at 6 p.m. and is followed by a fireworks display at the waterfront. You’ll also get a great view of Harbor Springs’ display across Little Traverse Bay so find a good spot to sit and make sure to pack a blanket and your camera.
There is never a shortage of things to do during the Fourth of July in Boyne City. Start the day with a little friendly competition at the Boyne City Independence Day Run, which you can register for here. The 2 mile and 10k races start at 7:30 a.m. along the shore of Lake Charlevoix. Once you’ve caught your breath, jump around in a bounce house with the kids at Inflatable Alley. It’s for all ages and sizes, so adults can hop around too.
At 9:30 a.m, there is pre-parade entertainment and Eta Nu Clowns in downtown Boyne City, and at 10 a.m. the Grand Parade starts. You’ll want to find a spot to watch it along Water and Lake Streets. The children’s pie-eating contest begins at 11:30 a.m, in Veterans Park. Make sure to bring a hungry stomach! Afterward, families can stay at the park for games and live music so bring a picnic basket. Once you’ve eaten lunch, head over to the Boyne River for the Boyne Chamber’s annual Duck Race at 2:30 p.m.
After a jam-packed day, relax and watch the fireworks display over Lake Charlevoix. You’ll want to find a spot early though. The display starts at dusk, which is normally around 10:30 p.m.
More Northern Michigan Fourth of July
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