4th of July: Events in Alpena

The holiday weekend is here! For all you procrastinators  spontaneous livers out there, here’s a round-up of all the events going on this weekend in downtown Alpena & beyond.

1. Yoga on the Beach, Saturday 7/2 at 9 am. Starlite Beach. Start the holiday weekend off right with yoga & mindfulness against the backdrop of gorgeous Lake Huron with the lovely Amy Schultz & Bay Athletic Club.  By donation. Donations benefit Friends Together. 

Yoga on the Beach earlier this summer. Photo credit: Amy Schultz

2. Battle of the Paddles & Craft Beer Tasting, Sunday 7/3 from 4:30-8:00 pm. Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center (aka the NOAA building). Festivities begin at 4:30 pm with craft beer tasting on the roof deck. Watch standup paddle-boarders & kayakers compete in the Thunder Bay River with races beginning at 5:30 pm! (Registration begins at 4 pm on Rotary Island and can be done day of). New this year: Austin Brothers  on tap & live music. For more information or to register as a racer, click here. Beer fills $5. Registration for race $10. Put on by Dork Brothers Racing Team & Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Last year’s Battle of the Paddles.

3. Independence Day 5k Run/ Walk & 1 mile Fun Run, Monday 7/4 with registration beginning at 7 am at the Aplex. An Alpena tradition put on by Dork Brothers Racing Team. All runners and walkers welcome for a 1 mile Fun Run at 8:30 am and 5k at 9:00 am! (Or just come down to hang with the dorks). All profits go towards downtown’s own Thunder Bay Theatre & Friends of Alpena Plaza Pool. Message Dork Brothers Racing Team for more info. Registration is $10 for students, $20 for adults, and $40 for families (parents & children). Get an exclusive 2016 race tee for $15 more.

4. Alpena’s 4th of July Parade, Monday 7/4 beginning at 11 am. Parade begins at the Alpena County Fairgrounds, cruises through downtown, and ends in the large parking lot near Great Lakes Divers on Fletcher Street. What’s the 4th of July without a parade?! Sponsored by Performance Locker. 

5. Maritime Festival, Monday 7/4 from 10 am- 5 pm. 500 West Fletcher Street. Free and fun for the whole family. Live music, a water slide,  HELICOPTER RIDES, face-painting, ROV demos, whitefish sandwiches,  and of course, the ever-epic Cardboard Boat Regatta. Live music includes The Moxie Strings and sea-shantying Song of the Lakes. Hosted by Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Photo credit: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

6. 6th Annual Cardboat Boat Regatta, Monday 7/4 beginning at 2 pm. Thunder Bay River near Rotary Island. Who sill sink? Who will swim? Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary has enough shipwrecks… who will be the next? Any individual/team over 10 years old can register beginning at 11 am on Rotary Island. For more information, click here. Put on by the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Photo credit: NOAA and Earth is Blue

7. Alpena Sandcastle Competition, 7/4 beginning at 8 am. Starlite Beach. Stop by to admire the artistry of Alpena’s finest sandcastle builders. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and judging will take place from 1- 3 pm. Sandcastles on display all day. Hosted by The Alpena News. For questions and registration information, call 989-354-3111. 

8. 3rd Annual Freedom Alley Blues Jam, 7/4 from 12-6 pm at The Fresh Palate. Enjoy food & drink while enjoying live music from the The Broken Arrow Blues Band, playing in the alley next to the Historic Center Building. $5 suggested donation for Blues Coalition Fundraiser. 

What’s more American than blues? Photo credit: The Fresh Palate

9. 4th Annual Fourth of July Parking Lot Party at The Courtyard, 7/4 from 7:30 pm-close. Featuring live music from  Josh Lane Band and the LBA. Also prime location for firework watching. Just saying. For more info, click here.

10. Bob Seger Tribute concert, 7/4 at 7:00 pm at the Alpena Band Shell. A free outdoor concert featuring the music of The System, paying tribute to Bob Seger. Fun fact: did you know Bob Seger used to frequent Alpena while dating an Alpena native?) Also catch the Alpena City Band beforehand from 5:30-6:30 pm. Part of the Summer Concert Series hosted by True North Radio Network. 

Photo credit: True North Radio Network

11. Fireworks, set off at Mich-e-kewis at dusk. Prime viewing locations include Starlite Beach and Alpena Boat Harbor but can be enjoyed all throughout Alpena.

There you go– your holiday weekend planning done so you don’t have to. Before the weekend ends, make sure to say your final farewell to the Alpena Power Company building whose demolition begins Tuesday, July 5th. (Read a bit of its history here). And of course make sure to stop in some of Downtown Alpena’s shops & restaurants: grab a glass of wine, browse new offerings at the Marketplace, caffeinate at Cabin Creek, visit the renovated Owl restaurant… oh, and tag your photos with #downtownalpena.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anne Gentry writes Blog Downtown Alpena in conjunction with Alpena DDA and couldn’t limit this weekend’s events to just downtown. Like the blog on Facebook here. 

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