"Huron County-Revived"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, July 12, 2013

July 4 landed on a Thursday and visitors to our area were able to take Friday off so mini-vacations occurred. The Thumb bulged with happy faces and they were rewarded with lots to do.

Good planning of activities on days that did not conflict allowed everyone to visit many of the areas communities and enjoy their offerings. This year was the first time in many years I participated in Port Austin’s 4th of July parade. I drove my El Camino with my wife Pat’s business advertised on it and two of my beautiful granddaughters rode in the back.

One of the girl’s fiancée rode shotgun in the front with me. He had visited from Arizona a couple years ago but it was not during our big holiday. He just kept marveling at the number of people lining the streets. I had forgotten how popular our parade had become and was surprised by the huge numbers of people of all ages.

The population of the little town of Port Hope swelled also. A crowd of hundreds of happy faces lined the streets and enjoyed their festival. People return there year after year for all the fun.

Earlier in the day I visited the harbor at Port Austin and was very happy to note all the dock slips were filled and the boat trailer parking area was running over. This was the most activity I had seen at the harbor in years. Work, including dredging, new floating dockage and power installations plus redesign of the entire parking facilities and updated restrooms, was completed this spring.

Upgraded harbor facilities in conjunction with Veterans Park and Memorial, the village beach, kid’s playground and picnic pavilion make Port Austin’s waterfront one of the best in the state. If the fishing action picks up, it should stay busy all summer and fall.

Harbor Beach’s Maritime Festival this weekend and Ubly’s Homecoming, followed by Pigeon’s Summerfest, Huron County’s Fair, BayPort’s Fish Sandwich Days, Caseville’s Cheeseburger in Paradise and Elkton’s Autumnfest at the end of August, then Kinde’s Polka Festival in September assure surrounding communities get their share of visitors. These are just some of the great events to enjoy this summer, a summer that may turn out to be one of the best in many years.

Summer residents and their guests need to check out some of the new events to experience the tip of the Thumb.

I had a daughter visit from Connecticut last weekend and she made three separate trips to Port Austin’s Farmers Market. One trip led to another as she found something she just had to have each time.

Nearby communities have joined in to offer Farmer’s Markets. Check them out. You will find fresh veggies, baked goods (yummy), flowers, hand-made crafts of all types and a large group of friendly people.

Local merchants worked hard to spruce up their buildings and stock up on merchandise. I suggest local people look around and note some of the new businesses our areas have welcomed. Shops like sign-makers, laundry and espresso bars, thrift stores, ice cream parlors (lots of them) plus kayak rentals along the shoreline. They are all eager to provide their services.

As I see it, we owe thanks to the weather gods who allowed most of the past week’s events to carry on without too much interference.




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