"It Was an Entertaining Weekend"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wow, what a great weekend for everyone over the 4th.

The parade in Port Austin had the largest attendance anyone can recall. There were also a big number of parade entrants: cars, trucks, wagons, floats, horses and even a train riding on a long flatbed truck. All were wildly cheered.

Many politicians, looking forward to next month’s primary election, swelled the number of entrants. They, and their “foot soldiers,” marched along passing out pamphlets requesting support. I noted some of them passed out their brochures to out of town visitors who will not be voting in our elections. I also thought it odd to see over-eager campaigners stuffing literature in the kid’s candy bags or plastering signs on the kid’s shirts. Perhaps they were rewarded for passing out the most messages.

I was among those who participated in the parade with two beautiful young ladies (my granddaughters). They rode in the back of my classic El Camino. When we were lining up, we observed other entrants putting together their displays. They were very organized, especially the dancing girls from Anita’s school of dance who were behind me. They were busy trimming their pickup with smiley faces, flags and other decorations. They danced their way through the whole route, some carrying a big banner, and they all had big smiles.

There was also an old, white-haired guy running around with a Michigan State Spartan flag waving it at everyone. When he got tired, he hustled back to the MSU. float and rode for a while. The Port Austin parade wouldn’t be the same without him and the group that accompany him each year. As I observed everyone putting the finishing touches on their displays, I sensed a feeling of pride from all of them. Because I got a look at the whole parade route, I have to agree there were a record number of spectators.

The weather for the event could not have been better if the Chamber of Commerce had ordered it. The whole weekend was delightful; comfortable weather, not too hot or cold and not too wet. Although I was not able to attend the festivities in the other towns, I heard they all offered plenty of entertainment and all reports were favorable.

Every community’s firework’s displays were spectacular according to those who witnessed them. I heard comments saying the Thumb’s fireworks compared well to those put on in larger areas of the state.

If you didn’t make it up to the shoreline at Port Austin, you should make the trip to view the result of all the work that took place at the harbor. It is totally open and over the 4th was close to full of boats at the new floating docks. There were vessels of all sizes up to 80 foot. The harbor is truly the gem of Lake Huron. As I see it, the service provided to visitors was so great, word will spread and Port Austin will once again be a very popular port to visit.

If you are among the few who were unable to enjoy the 4th activities in the Thumb, don’t despair. There are still plenty of things to see and do. Events range from frog jumping in Harbor Beach to the 145th Huron County Fair in Bad Axe. The Parade of Fools at Cheeseburger days in Caseville and Bay Port’s Fish Sandwich days are always popular events.

There are runs, bikeathons, poetry readings and a polkafest — just about anything you might like to participate in during the rest of the summer. I suggest you pick up one of the published guides available and look up “events” for a complete list. You can also contact any of the community chambers or the Huron County Visitors Bureau at 800-358-4862.

Have fun in the Thumb this summer!

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