Independence Day parades and celebrations planned
Jun. 25, 2019 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Two of the most widely attended Independence Day parades will take place next Thursday in downtown Northville and Plymouth.
In downtown Plymouth
First in the area will be the Good Morning USA Parade which will begin at 9 a.m. in downtown Plymouth and continue down Main Street from Bode’s Restaurant for about a mile and a half to Hartsough Street, just north of Ann Arbor Road.
The 70 to 80 entries in the parade will take about two hours to see said Parade Chairman Scott Keppler.
Keppler said the parade committee, part of the Kiwanis Club of Colonial Plymouth, spends about 11 months working on the parade and that entry forms for the event went out in February.
He was involved with the parade several years before Fred Hill chaired the event and led his well-known Briefcase Brigade to fame, even appearing in the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade. After 18 years, Hill opted to retire, and the Kiwanis Club members stepped up to continue the parade.
“I volunteered and I’m glad I did,” Keppler, an attorney, said, “It’s a lot of fun and it’s easier to do these days than it was 25 years ago when I first volunteered.”
The parade will have about 70-80 entries this year including crowd favorites like the Plymouth-Canton High School Marching Band, the Polish Centennial Dancers; the Fifth Michigan Regiment Band; the Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps along with jugglers, stilt walkers, classic cars and a surprise visit from Santa at the end of the marchers.
Keppler said the parade is staffed by about 70 or so volunteers, some from the other two Kiwanis clubs in Plymouth and he is hoping for some help from the new Canton Kiwanis Club this year, too. “I haven’t picked on them for help yet,” he said.
The parade, he said, is dependent on the work of the volunteers and conations from sponsors who fund the event. Fees for police and DPW, along with other costs add up to more than $20,000 for the event, he said.
This year the Bank of Ann Arbor; Monroe Bank and Trust; Morse Dental Group; The Post Bar and Grill; Stella’s; Community Financial Credit Union; Horton Plumbing; Plymouth Dental Associates; Caviston Insurance; Great Clips of Plymouth; Jazzercize; Roush Performance; Herriman and Associates; Wilcox Foundation and the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce all helped to defer the expense of the parade.
“This is a huge event and one of the favorites in Plymouth,” Keppler said.
In downtown Northville
This year, the Northville 4thof July Parade is again being organized by the Northville Chamber of Commerce which took up the reins last year from the Northville Community Foundation which had been managing the event for more than a decade.
“It seemed a natural progression for us,” noted Jody Humphries, the executive director of the Northville Chamber of Commerce, noting that the chamber organizes several other events in the community.
The parade will line up at Northville Downs and proceed on Main Street to Cady and then down South Wing to Fairbrook back to South Center. The parade will again be announced by Lisa Barry, media personality and William Demray, DDS as has been a long tradition.
A few things will change with the parade this year, but it will remain the event nearly 20,000 people crowd the Northville streets to watch every year.
“We have changed and streamlined the judging format,” Humphries said. This year all judging will take place prior to the parade and will include only Judges’ Choice in the community group and business categories along with the best in the parade theme category. The theme this year is American Innovation, so I’m excited to see what people come up with.
“To be judged, they have to be in line and ready at 9 a.m.,” Humphries said, when this year Northville Mayor Ken Roth and Chamber of Commerce board representative Sarah Thompson will make the selections. “We are going to drive them around on a golf cart to make their selections,” Humphries said, “and then the winners will have a sign to display as they go down the parade route so everyone along the parade route can applaud their efforts.”
The judging will rotate annually between the mayor of the City of Northville and the supervisor in Plymouth Township along with a chamber board member.
Humphries said the one change and disappointment this year was the lack of a flyover from the nearby military bases.
“They are unable to perform the flyover as they are all deployed,” she said.
The Northville parade will include about 100-150 entries and include all the traditional marching bands, church floats, civic groups, antique cars, clowns, sports mascots and other entertainment the crowds line the streets to enjoy.
Mayor Ken Roth said he welcomes the parade each year.
“We areexcited to share our long-cherished tradition that brings out the best in Northville,” he said.