ADIRONDACK CHAIRS MADE for pleasant perches for riders on a parade unit that recognized all five branches of the armed services last year. Ariana Hones photo
by Joe Schulz
Green Lake County gives folks plenty of ways — and plenty of days — to celebrate America’s birthday.
Patrons can go to celebrations in Princeton, Berlin and Green Lake if they’re feeling patriotic enough as all three communities will hold their celebrations on different days.
Patriots can commemorate the Declaration of Independence with a smorgasbord of events Thursday, July 4.
To start the day, folks can either go to a pancake breakfast with the American Legion at 7 a.m. or test their stamina in the Green Lake 4 on the 4th Race, a 4-mile run/walk with proceeds benefiting local veterans, at 8:30 a.m. at Reilly’s Pub.
Deacon Mills Park opens for business at noon, in what Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liane Walsh describes as a fun, family atmosphere.
Food inside the park will include, brats, burgers, popcorn, cotton candy, cheese curds and nachos. Beverages available will include soda, lemonade, water and beer.
There also will be a plethora of things for children to do as well, which includes duck races and Sink the Bismarck in Playground Park.
Dan Braaksma, the same man who played music for the Green Lake 100 bike ride, will provide the tunes from noon to 4:30 p.m. Classic rock cover band Ivory Tower will play from 5 to 9 p.m.
A patriotic-themed boat parade will arrive at Deacon Mills Wharf at about 1 p.m.
The parade on land will begin with a KC-135 Stratotanker Flyover at 4 p.m.
The parade will depart from downtown and make its way to the park shortly after the flyover.
Members of the Green Lake American Legion color guard seem to mirror the Little Corporal. Ariana Hones photo
A firework display over Dartford Bay will cap the festivities at dusk.
Walsh noted one thing that sets Green Lake’s Fourth of July Celebration apart is the ability to watch the fireworks from a boat.
“People love that; they just pull up as close as the sheriff will let them,” she said. “Seeing the fireworks from your boat is just spectacular.”
Walsh added another part that makes the Fourth of July in Green Lake unique is that there’s a lot more going than just fireworks, with multiple events set throughout the day.
“For a small town, we really pull out all the stops,” she said.
It’s tradition in Princeton to celebrate Independence Day the Saturday before the Fourth of July, according to Princeton Area Community Fund (PACF) President and Event Coordinator Carol Siddall.
The Princeton Independence Day celebration will continue that Saturday, June 29 at 5 p.m. in Princeton City Park on Fulton Street.
The Princeton Snow Barons will provide food and beverages which include brats, hotdogs, hamburgers and a variety of drinks.
At 6:30 p.m., the Dave Steffen Band will play a mix of rock and blues in a concert sponsored by Steve’s Quality Painting.
Activities for children at the celebration, Siddall noted, will “give the little ones something to do while the rest of us are enjoying each other’s company.”
A fireworks display is set to go off at dusk to round out the night.
Siddall inherited the responsibility of coordinating the Independence Day celebration from her husband, Jim Siddall, who organized the celebration for 47 years before passing in 2015.
“It’s kind of in my blood,” she said.
In recent years, Princeton’s Fourth of July has faced setbacks to the point that a few years ago there ceased to be an Independence Day celebration in Princeton.
Last year, the PACF became interested in bringing a Fourth of July celebration back to Princeton.
“It had been a year, maybe two, without anything going on and it just seemed so sterile,” Siddall said. “As a group, [the PACF] tried to bring it back last year, but the weather didn’t cooperate… there was a tornado warning.”
Siddall believes if the weather behaves the Independence Day celebration will be fun for the whole family.
“We look forward to fun from food, friends, fireworks and music,” she said. “And the opportunity to sit back relax and enjoy our freedoms and being together as a community.”
Celebrate Independence Day Berlin style Wednesday, July 3 from 4 to 11:30 p.m. at Riverside Park. The event is being put on by Achieving Better Communities (ABC), a non-profit comprised of volunteers.
The party will feature live music. Double Down will play hits that date back to the 1970s from 4 to 7 p.m. The Cougars, a band with three female vocalists, will play everything from Lady GaGa to country from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., with a brief pause at dusk for a fireworks display.
A variety of food vendors will serve brats, pizza, loaded baked potatoes and ice cream. ABC will provide $1 hot dogs to make it easier for families to come to the event. Beverages available at the event include beer, wine, spiked seltzer water, soda and water.
Kids may choose between several different games at the event. ABC’s Wheel of Luck is a new game that involves spinning a game show-style wheel. The wheel was made by refurbishing an old satellite dish.
The Berlin Independence Day Parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Marquette Street and it will end at the north shelter house in Riverside Park.
ABC Chairman Sue Trampf wants everyone to celebrate the freedoms they have by coming to Riverside Park July 3.
“People can come to our event that evening and sleep in the next day and go to another town’s event on the fourth,” Trampf said. “But they should always start with Berlin.”
A fireworks display is set to go off Thursday, July 4 over Murray Park at dusk.