Alpena’s Fourth of July weekend events

The hours between us and the holiday weekend are dwindling. (Does it count as a holiday weekend if the holiday is Tuesday? Blog thinks yes).

Here’s what’s planned for this weekend and through the fourth:

1. The first Alpena Art Walk of the season. Friday 6/30 from 5-8 pm. The art galleries & studios of downtown will keep their doors open late, featuring live artist demonstrations, special receptions, hors d’oeurves, henna tattoos, and more. the Besser Museum will also have a special exhibit at the historic Centennial building, and downtown businesses will have extended hours. Click here for full information.


Murals on display at the Centennial Building.

2. Downtown Street Performers. Friday 6/30 from 6-8 pm. The street performers are at it again and will be playing throughout downtown Alpena! Stay awhile and be serenaded while you stroll through downtown.

Photo by Northeast Michigan Basement Tapes.

3. Outdoor Farmers’ Market. Saturday 7/1 from 8:00- 1 pm. Located behind City Hall. Grab fresh & locally-grown produce, greens, strawberries, breads, flowers, and more.


4. Citywide Garage Sale.  Friday 6/30 & Saturday 7/1 from 9-5 pm. Some downtown businesses will be participating in this fundraiser, including Family Enterprise and Retails Boutique. For full event details, click here.

5. Mimosa bar at Thunder Bay Winery. Sunday 7/2 beginning at noon. Mimosas on a holiday weekend? Yes please. Make your own drink and mix fresh juices & fruits with the winery’s sparkling whites. Don’t like mimosa? Grab a glass of wine to sip instead. Located at 109 N. Second Ave.

Wine at the tasting room.

5. Thunder Bay Theatre’s Late Night Cabaret. Sunday 7/2 beginning at 7 pm at Alpena Golf Club. The second of FIVE Late Night Cabarets of the summer! Listen to the core company perform songs from their repetoire. Kitchen & bar stay open late.  Also make sure to get tickets for The Addams Family, if you haven’t yet. Tickets $10 at the door. 


6. The 4th Annual Battle of the Paddles. Monday 7/3 from 4:30-8 pm. Kayakers, SUP-ers, and canoers will race once more down the Thunder Bay River. Who will win the golden paddle?! Come taste beers and watch from the Sanctuary’s roof deck. Or participate. You choose. For event & registration details, click here.

Last years’ event. Photo by Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Events on the Fourth of July:

7. Independence Day 5k & 1 mile Fun Run. Registration begins at 7 am at the Aplex. Fun Run at 8:30 am and 5k at 9 am. Honor the independence of this fine nation. Participate in the finest of American traditions… running 5k’s on holidays with the Dork Brothers. For registration info & costs, click here.

Last year’s run. Photo by Mark Jacobs.

8. 4th of July Parade. Begins at 11 am at the County Fairgrounds, down Chisholm, down Second Avenue, and ends on Fletcher Street. Sponsored by Performance Locker.

9. The Alpena News’ Sand Castle Competition. Judging happens at 3 pm, and sand castles will be available to be viewed all day.

10. 17th Annual Maritime Festival from 10am -5 pm at the Sanctuary’s Visitor Center. Live music all day (including a performance by the Accidentals!), games & crafts for kids, food vendors (whitefish sandwich anyone? Nowicki’s?), boat building demos, and more. Bring the whole family. Free event. Located at 500 West Fletcher.


Carboard Boat Regatta begins at 2:30 pm!

11. Broken Arrow Blues playing live in the alley from 12-6 pm. The Fresh Palate kicks off their summer of alley parties with Broken Arrow Blues, a blues & boogie band from Detroit. Grab some food and some drink and enjoy free music in downtown.


12. Concerts at the Band Shell.  The City Band begins at 5:3 pm, and then things get rockin’ with an AC/DC tribute band beginning at 7 pm. Both are free of charge.

And last but not least, close the night out with Fireworks, which begin at dusk. Watch them at the beach, at the harbor, or downtown.

Wishing you all a safe, happy, and festive Independence Day weekend– and hope you can visit downtown Alpena and stay awhile!


Blog Downtown Alpena is written by Anne Gentry, Executive Director of the Alpena DDA– and judge of this year’s Sand Castle Competition.

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