"Big Bang a Big Success"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Big Bang is over but it sure was a great time for everyone. For the past six or seven years (now that I’m not “on call”) we have enjoyed hosting a picnic in our yard on the 4th of July.

Port Austin’s parade, which dates back over 50 years and usually has about 100 units, was well attended in spite of the scorching heat.

There were entries from all over the county and of course a fair share of politicians. They deserve votes after walking that parade route in the 90-degree heat. Miss Michigan looked fresh as she graced us with her beauty by riding in a convertible. Bay Port’s Pirate Ship may have been my personal favorite float.

My grandson, Kyle Thrushman, brought along a guest from the city and it was as much fun watching him as the parade. I don’t believe he had ever seen tractors and farm equipment as big as those in our parade. His eyes popped out and he grabbed his phone to take pictures of them. As a “first timer” this young man was as entertained as the little kids were while he leaped to catch milk cartons and beads.

I really want to commend the parents who attended the parade this year. V ery few of them let their youngsters run out in front of the floats and farm equipment with the giant tires.

Last year and in prior years, I commented in my column about who would be responsible if one of the kids got hurt. I’m sure all elders at past parades watched with apprehension, fearful for the young people. Kudos to the parents!

As soon as the parade ended in downtown Port Austin, my guest and I picked up our benches and headed for my yard. We continued the celebration that began with the parade at the end of my street and ended with the fireworks, which we view from our yard. As I sat enjoying my hot dog (a picnic treat), I watched as families passed by enjoying being together. It reminded me of years ago when families spent the 4th holiday together, from the parade right on through the fireworks.

Another behavior I noted was those driving around town, including the young people who demonstrated caution. There was no tire squealing, no racing engines and very few car stereos blaring.

With all the construction taking place at the harbor, we wondered how the fireworks would be presented and where the onlookers could watch them. It appeared as though the village, state and contractors all worked together to direct visitors to areas where they could park and to additional areas for viewing. It did involve a bit of hiking, but that was part of the fun. The combined efforts were supported by county, State Police and Department of Natural Resources and Environment enforcement, as well as Port Austin’s police force to ensure public safety.

The fireworks presentation was perhaps the very best I’ve ever viewed in Huron County. I know my guest enjoyed it and all of us agreed the show seemed to go longer than in prior years and was just spectacular! It was just a great holiday in my town, businesses did well and those who stayed open later seemed to enjoy lots of customers. Of special note was the brand new Visitor Center opening just in time for the holiday.

I observed no problems in spite of all the construction, there was no grumbling or whining — folks just had a good time. I hope all the rebuilding at the waterfront will result in Port Austin’s harbor being one of the finest in the state. Businesses will benefit because there are few docking facilities located such a short walking distance to a town that offers so many restaurants and shops, plus anything boaters may need.

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