11 Unique Fourth of July Celebrations in Northern Michigan

Despite many annual Northern Michigan Fourth of July events being canceled due to COVID-19, there are still plenty of ways you can celebrate America’s Independence Day. Check out these towns and resorts offering fun ways to spend your 4th Up North, with everything from yoga to live-streamed parades.

Bellaire // Yoga & July 3rd Fireworks @ Shanty Creek Resort

Enjoy a relaxing 4th of July morning with a yoga session at the Summit at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire. Take in the fresh air and scenery as you start your Independence Day with a moving meditation. All experience levels welcome. Register online, bring your own yoga mat or towel and improve your yoga skills. The hour-long program begins at 9 a.m. at The Lakeview Outdoor Pool.

Shanty Creek also plans to hold a fireworks display at dusk on July 3. Visitors and residents alike will be able to watch the show anywhere in the Bellaire area where the Shanty Creek water tower is visible.

Visit the Shanty Creek website for more info on updates.

Get There: Summit Village, 5780 Shanty Creek Rd.

Benzie County // 4th of July Classic Boat Parade 

The Classic Boats of Crystal Lake are hosting a boat parade around Crystal Lake in which everyone is invited to participate. Led by Benzie’s Sherriff, Chris Crafts and Centuries will gather with the Sheriff’s boat off of Beulah Beach at 9 a.m. on  July 4, with flags flying, and complete the 25 miles clockwise around the deep water line of Crystal Lake. Participants are encouraged to decorate their pontoon or speed boat in style with red, white and blue. 

Boyne City // Virtual Celebration

Celebrate right from your own couch with this virtual parade airing on 9&10 News on Saturday, July 4 at 10 a.m. The special will feature footage from parades of the past, along with historical facts, photos and stories. The 30-minute special will be available for on-demand viewing on the SBTV app following the premier.

The celebration will also include a virtual hometown decorating contest, virtual arts and crafts show, virtual duck race and virtual fireworks.

Boyne City is looking for footage and photos of past 4th of July parade celebrations for the special. See the Boyne City 4th of July Facebook page for more information.

Charlevoix // Summer Salon Art Exhibt

What better way to celebrate America’s independence than by supporting and enjoying local art? Charlevoix State Bank is sponsoring the first annual salon-style exhibit showcasing regionally inspired work by area artists. The exhibit featuring Michigan artists runs from July 4 through August 15 at the Charlevoix Circle of Arts.

Get There: 109 Clinton St., Charlevoix

Walloon Lake // 4th of July Fireworks on Walloon Lake

Watching from a boat is the best seat in the house, and Tommy’s offers fast and easy boat rentals for single or multiple days. You can also view the fireworks from shore. The park will be open for visitors at limited capacity due to COVID-19 for the display. The Pistil Whips will be playing from 7–10 p.m. Fireworks at dark.

Check Visit Charlevoix’s events page for additional info. 

Crystal Mountain (Thompsonville) // Various Events

The Fourth of July may look a bit different this year, but Crystal Mountain has a host of activities planned for the holiday, all with social distancing and safe family fun in mind. Join the family bike parade—the free parade will feature guests pedaling down Crystal Mountain Drive on colorfully decorated bicycles. Guests who want to participate should meet at the basketball court by the Mountain Adventure Zone, and staff will lead the way to Kinlochen and back to the Mountain Adventure Zone.

Events both before and after the 4th include outdoor laser tag, family campfires, archery, crafting classes, a golf scramble and many others. Check out the Crystal Mountain website for a full list of activities.

Get There: 12500 Crystal Mountain Dr.

Ellsworth // 3rd of July Fireworks & 13th Annual Freedom Salute 

Sponsored by the Ellclaire Committee, Ellsworth will be holding the annual Freedom Salute and fireworks display this year. After vigorous fundraising efforts, the Committee will be able to provide a full fireworks display for residents and visitors alike on July 3. 

Visit the EllClaire Committee’s Fireworks page for more info.

Glen Lake // Flag Raising Ceremony Live Stream

The Glen Lake Woman’s Club in collaboration with Cherry Republic will be live streaming the annual Fourth of July Flag Raising Ceremony on Facebook beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 4. The Flag Raising will be performed by members of the local VFW and take place at Old Settlers Park on Glen Lake in Glen Arbor. Visit the Glen Lake Women’s Club Facebook page for information on how to watch.

Harbor Springs // 4th Of July Decorations Contest

This year, the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce is encouraging local residents and businesses to decorate their homes, businesses and vehicles for the holiday and post pictures on the chamber’s Facebook page or email them to: [email protected] Get out your sparklers and get creative! There will be categories for winning decorations like Most Patriotic Business, Most Patriotic Vehicle, Most Patriotic Family and Most Patriotic Home. Be sure to include your address in your submissions.

Mackinaw City // Fireworks Cruise

Cruise the Mackinac Straits and celebrate in style with VIP views of the fireworks display. It’ll be an Independence Day to remember aboard a Shepler’s cruise, complete with beverages available for sale (cash only) including beer, wine, soda and water. Snacks will also be available. The St. Ignace fireworks cruise departs the  St. Ignace dock at 9:15 p.m. and returns around 11 p.m. The Mackinaw City departure has sold out. See Shepler’s website for more information.

Traverse City // Equestrian Festival Live Stream

The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival will be available to live stream online this year. Live coverage of events during the entire show season will be available to watch for free. Beginning on the fourth, the live stream will be available to viewers through the Traverse City Horse Shows website

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