"Happy Birthday USA"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, July 9, 2012

As I traveled around the area the past week, I noted visitors found many of the places I mentioned in my “What’s there to do?” column last week.

Because the 4th fell mid-week, celebrations throughout the Thumb were spread over a 10-day period including two weekends. There were barbecues and lots of activities leading up to the big events. As I traveled through Caseville, I thought the town was as active as during any event time except Cheeseburger in Paradise which is coming up soon. I noticed all the cottages along M-25 were occupied with cars parked in every inch of space. Caseville held its big fireworks display on Tuesday, the 3rd, at the County Beach.

On Wednesday, the 4th, Port Austin became the place to be. It’s annual parade is always held on the 4th, no matter what day of the week it falls on. Parade organizers had expected from 8,000 to 10,000 spectators which is a smaller number because of the event happening mid-week. The morning of the 4th, folks make an early trip to Lake Street to set up a chair or two in preparation of the 1 p.m. parade. After picking out their spots, they head for the coffee shops for a sweet roll or try to get a seat at the restaurants for breakfast. The town’s shops were all open and bustling with shoppers and lookers right up to parade time.

When I went up to take my spot at the parade, crowds lined both sides of the street for as far as I could see. I thought there were just as many spectators as any other weekend parade date, maybe because it was the lone parade in the area. Port Austin’s fireworks were expected to be viewed by a smaller number too because of it being a weekday. The crowd that arrived in town, however, was huge and everyone enjoyed perhaps the best display they had ever seen.

This weekend the little town of Port Hope takes the spotlight from Friday right through Sunday. A flea market, antique tractor and engine show plus the big softball tourney are just the beginning. Another parade and tractor pull will be highlights during the day and in case you missed Caseville’s or Port Austin’s or just needed one more thrill, another great fireworks display will take place Saturday evening.

Yes, it has been a bit hotter than usual, but the activities from viewing parades and fireworks to playing Putt-Putt, Kooky or Mountain Golf, were enjoyed by all. The laughter of youngsters and cheering of adults could be heard everywhere in the Thumb, especially along the shoreline.

As I see it, summer in Huron County is the best!




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