Thanks to Phoenix Real Estate Guy Jay Thompson who gave me the idea of sharing locations for Fourth of July Fireworks.
If you know of a firework display in Benzie, Leelanau, Grand Traverse or Manistee Counties (or even surrounding counties) that I missed, let me know about it, please! Or feel free to share tips on best places to watch fireworks in Northwest Michigan.
Benzie County Fireworks:
July 3rd, Crystal Mountain Resort, Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration. Fireworks at dusk over the mountain, tons of other activities from July 2nd-5th.
July 4th, Beulah. Fireworks launched over Crystal Lake at dusk. Past experience says they usually wait until it is good and dark before they start. Fireworks are launched from near the public beach in Beulah, so that’s prime viewing space, as is the lake itself if you’re lucky enough to have access to a boat. The access site near the marina on the north shore and Fair Park at the base of Benzie Street on the south shore also offer good vistas a bit farther removed from the launch site. Nearly anywhere on the lake with the exception of Outlet Bay will offer a view, and from along the north shore certain points give you a distant view of Beulah and Frankfort fireworks at the same time.
Beulah’s parade is at 1:30 on the July 4th.
Frankfort: Launched over the mouth of Betsie Bay along Lake Michigan Beach, also at dusk. The fantastic beach here offers lots of sandy space to enjoy the display, and like Beulah a boat is a great spot as well. In both locations, the twinkling, bobbing lights of the boats are an added bonus to the display. Beach areas near the north breakwall are closest and most obvious, but don’t discount Elberta Beach, the Elberta Overlook, or even Cannon Park or Elberta Waterfront park if you don’t get there in time for a front row seat.
For a really memorable fireworks experience, take the Sleeping Bear Dunes Boat Cruise for their sunset cruise, and get a breathtaking view of the Lake Michigan Shoreline first- on the Fourth the sunset cruise returns to the docks after the fireworks.
Frankfort’s Parade will be at 10:00 on the 3rd of July this year, and they also have a carnival at Open Space Park.
Manistee County Fireworks
Manistee: Fireworks at 10:30: Best viewing from either First Street Beach or Fifth Avenue Beach. Rain date is July 5. Lots of other activities centered around the National Forest Festival July 1st-4th. Parade July 3rd at 10:oo a.m.
Wellston: Norman Township Community Center
Bear Lake Days are also worth noting. They take place July 9-11, and include an evening parade and fireworks on the 10th.
Leelanau County Fireworks
July 3rd: Leland Fireworks, dusk over Lake Michigan. Leland mixes things up a bit and does their fireworks on the 3rd while keeping their parade on the 4th at 3:00
Also on July 3rd Northport will have their fireworks, launched at Northport Marina Park.
Cedar: Polka Fest is July 1-4th. Younger generations- don’t laugh at the idea of attending a Polka Fest. It’s an absolute blast, and I guarantee you won’t be able to keep up with the Polka enthusiasts even if they are twice your age. Parade July 3rd at noon.
Grand Traverse County Fireworks
Traverse City, West Grand Traverse Bay. Tons and tons of locations to view the fireworks here, and as this is the biggest venue, these also tend to be a longer and bigger display (though I believe the Festival Finale on the 10th are bigger.) But that also comes with more crowds, so decide what works best for you. Plenty of creative places to watch in and around town, from the bay, the west shore, the peninsula, or surrounding hills. I can remember watching the fireworks from the hood of my car up on Wayne Hill, but there a ton more homes there now and I wouldn’t recommend it now.
Of course, you can’t mention Traverse City fireworks without talking about the National Cherry Festival. The Air Show will be going on over the 3rd and 4th as well, including the Blue Angels. Here’s a full schedule for the Cherry Festival- there’s more than I can list here, including the Festival Finale Fireworks on July 1oth.
Lots of other opportunities
Here’s a link to fireworks for the bulk of the Northern Lower Peninsula and Eastern UP fromUpNorth Live/TV 7 & 4. And here’s another for the entire state of Michigan fireworks displays throughout the year- they’re currently indexing 426 displays.
Again, if I’ve missed something, or you have a tip to share, please add it in the comments!
So… with all these options, where will I be?
As for my family and I, our tradition is to gather at a family lake lot on the south shore of Crystal Lake, about a mile and half from Beulah. We’ll barbeque and somewhere around 1o families will gather around a campfire and sing campfire songs until the fireworks begin. If you’re passing by on Crystal Avenue, or walking by on the Betsie Valley Trail and see a big gang with lots of kids, be sure to say hi! Mention that you saw my blog and we’ll hook you up with a s’more.
Happy Independance Day everyone, and God Bless America!