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Tag Archive | "Fourth of July"

Quick tips for safe, responsible Fourth of July fun

From the Michigan DNR

Warmer weather is calling, but things look a little different this year due to COVID-19. We’re providing information to keep you and Michigan’s natural resources safe, along with options for staying local and socially distant, while enjoying your favorite outdoor spaces over the July Fourth weekend.

We are committed to providing visitors with safe, clean outdoor spaces and memory-making experiences. Just last week Monday, we reopened state park campgrounds with new health and safety protocols in place. While we do our best behind the scenes, please do your part to protect yourselves and others while enjoying the outdoors:

Go out only if you’re feeling healthy.

Stay at least 6 feet from people who aren’t from your household, and wear a face covering when in enclosed indoor spaces.

Follow operational and sanitation guidelines. Some processes, like checking in and using bathroom facilities at DNR-managed sites, may vary by location. For example, visitors are encouraged to pay by debit or credit card to decrease the exchange of money.

Also, some amenities at a handful of DNR locations remain closed due to delayed construction projects. Get the latest closure updates from the DNR’s COVID-19 response page. Just go to https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/ and click on DNR COVID-19 response.

Below is some additional information to ensure a fantastic Fourth.

Be mindful of beach and boating safety warnings

Record-high water levels are causing increased river flows, submerged docks and piers, swimming and boating hazards and other concerns. Learn more about the effects of high water and how to stay safe at Michigan.gov/HighWaterSafety.

The Great Lakes are large, powerful bodies of water that demand respect and caution from boaters, swimmers and paddlers. Have a great time in the Great Lakes, but visit Michigan.gov/BeachSafety for safety tips before heading out.

Be aware, too, that DNR conservation officers will have a larger presence on the water now until after the July Fourth holiday; it’s all part of Operation Dry Water, a national campaign to promote sober boating.

Know the rules for smoother trail treks

Whether hiking, biking, on horseback or riding an ORV, trail courtesy and etiquette are easy if you know what to do. Here are some tips:

Don’t create your own trails or shortcuts; this can cause erosion and damage habitat.

When meeting an equestrian, slow down and announce yourself so the horse recognizes you as human and not a predator. Stand back and let the horse pass; equestrian users have the right of way.

Keep to the right side. When approaching others from behind, announce your approach. It’s common to say “on your left” when passing.

See more tips and a video about trail etiquette from the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance at https://michigantrails.org/trails/trail-etiquette/

Do your part to prevent wildfires

Dry weather means a higher risk of accidentally starting a wildfire. Never launch fireworks toward forests or fields; dry grass or leaves could ignite. Dispose of used sparklers in a bucket of water.

Burn only wood in your campfire to avoid toxic fumes. When it’s time to put out the fire, thoroughly douse it with water, stir the ashes and douse again. Get more fire prevention tips at https://tinyurl.com/MI-DNR-fire-safety. And, if you plan to burn yard debris at home, get permission first at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit.

Take easy steps to protect woods, water and wildlife

Follow the laws to prevent the spread of invasive species in Michigan waters, and be sure to clean, drain and dry boats and trailers.

Don’t move firewood or bring it with you. Hauling firewood from one part of the state to another can transport insects and diseases that may kill native trees. Buy firewood locally and don’t take home any leftovers.

Remove plants, seeds and mud from boots, pets, vehicles and gear before leaving a recreation site, and take the PlayCleanGo message to heart as you spend more time outdoors this summer. More info at playcleango.org.

Be cautious near islands and other shoreline areas. Loons, wood ducks, trumpeter swans and dozens of other nesting birds need quiet water to maintain their nests and raise their young. Watch for signs and buoys that mark nesting areas or other spots that could be damaged by wakes or high-speed boat operation.

Ducks, geese, eagles, loons, turtles and other animals can get tangled in fishing line, plastic can and bottle rings, and other litter. Help keep our water clean and wildlife safe by taking out any trash that you bring in with you.

Map your next fishing, hiking or boating adventure

Looking for something local or with more space to spread out? Check out Michigan.gov/YourLocalOutdoors, a one-stop shopping map where you can enter your address and find fishing, boating and trails nearby. You also can look at your city, county or local convention and visitors bureau websites for close-to-home options.

Things to know before you go

The Recreation Passport is needed for vehicle entry to state parks, state forest campgrounds and state-managed boating access sites.

Anyone 17 or older must have a valid Michigan fishing license to fish. If you›re under 17 you can fish without a license, but still need to observe all fishing rules and regulations. An adult actively assisting a minor who does not have a license must have a fishing license.

Before hitting the trails, purchase an ORV license or trail permit online.

Think about what you’ll need for your adventure and grab the right gear (including hand sanitizer). To get you started, REI offers a checklist for day hiking (https://www.rei.com/dam/ea_day_hiking_printable_checklist.pdf) and other helpful lists for a variety of outdoor activities.

Many people like to swing by some state parks just to catch nearby evening fireworks displays. This year, however, the DNR will close state park day-use areas at 10 p.m. to help reduce crowds.

Finally, remember to pack your patience. Although many of your favorite outdoor spaces are reopening, some important restrictions (like wearing a face covering when inside enclosed indoor places and not congregating in large groups) are still in place for the safety and protection of visitors, volunteers and staff.

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Sand Lake Chamber cancels Fourth of July festivities

The Sand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will not be hosting their usual Fourth of July festivities this year. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

For the past 150 years, people have come from the surrounding areas on July Fourth to stroll through Salisbury Park in Sand Lake and revel in the festivities. They come to watch the parade; eat ice cream, popcorn, corn dogs, candy apples, and homemade sausages; ride the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round; play games; dance to music; enjoy a rodeo or demolition derby; enjoy the fireworks; laugh with friends; forget today’s cares; and become part of history. But, unfortunately, that won’t happen this summer.  

The Sand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce made the difficult decision earlier this week to cancel this summer’s annual Fourth of July Festivities. They made the announcement on their Facebook page Monday evening.

They cancelled it due to the restrictions surrounding COVID-19 and the current protests (with rioting and vandalism) taking place after the death of George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, at the hands of police.

The Sand Lake Chamber’s announcement reads: “We have come to a very hard decision tonight on the Sand Lake 4th of July celebration. With all the restrictions that the Covid-19 pandemic brings, and the current protests taking place, we cannot go forward with this event.
“It is with very heavy hearts, and a lot of discussion that brought us to this decision.
“As many of you, we wanted this to take place very much, as we held on until the last possible minute to make this decision. With all the regulations in place, it’s just not possible.
“We are going to work hard to bring a fall event to our community, with all of us working together to make that happen. We would love your ideas on this also, as it will give us something to look forward to yet this year. Thank you all for your patience while we worked through all of this, and your understanding on our decision to do what’s safe for our awesome little community. Very hard decision for all of us tonight.”

This year’s celebration would have been the 151st celebration. 

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Post travels the Beartooth Highway

We asked our readers on Facebook to tell us how they celebrated the Fourth of July. Shannon Maurer said they took the Post with them to celebrate the holiday! “We are enjoying our holiday on the Beartooth Highway and we brought the Post with us,” she wrote. “It is in Montana and Wyoming.”

According to Wikipedia, the Beartooth Highway is an All-American Road on a section of U.S. Route 212 in Montana and Wyoming between Red Lodge and the Northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park, passing over the Beartooth Pass at 10,947 feet above sea level.

Thanks so much, Shannon, for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Take the Post with you and snap some photos. Then send them to us with some info to news@cedarspringspost.com or mail them to Post travels, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. We will be looking for yours!

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July fourth fun

Photo by Michelle Adrianse

The past week has been a great one for family, friends, food, and lots of fun! We asked you to send us your photos and show us what you did for fun over the Fourth of July holiday, and you sent us some great photos!

Michelle Adrianse took some great fireworks photos. Thanks for sending them to us!

Pictured are Adam Callis and Morgan Callis trying to escape the onslaught.

Joe and Janet VanDyke sent us a great photo showing us what they did. “What do you do for fun over the Independence Day holiday?” wrote Janet. “At our house we exploded a watermelon with rubber bands. With everyone taking turns and two additional trips to purchase more rubber bands, it took us almost 2 hours and 595 rubber bands before the watermelon gave into the pressure.”

In the photo you can see their son-in-law, Adam Callis, and granddaughter, Morgan Callis, trying to escape the onslaught. They were placing rubber bands on the watermelon when it exploded!

Janet said they saw the slow motion videos of something like this on AFV and decided to try it themselves. Thanks for sending it our way!

See photos from your neighbors on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/cedarspringspost

and below are some we took at the Sand Lake parade. It looks like everyone had great fun!

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DNR urges caution when using fireworks 

To help prevent wildfires, the Department of Natural Resources urges people to place used fireworks, including sparklers, in a bucket of water after they’ve gone out. When thrown on the ground while they’re still hot, fireworks can cause grass fires that can spread to become wildfires. 

To help prevent wildfires, the Department of Natural Resources urges people to place used fireworks, including sparklers, in a bucket of water after they’ve gone out. When thrown on the ground while they’re still hot, fireworks can cause grass fires that can spread to become wildfires.

Warm weather and family gatherings can make the Fourth of July a fun time with great memories. But before you celebrate, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking residents and visitors to make sure they understand the importance of fireworks and campfire safety.

“With folks filling state parks, campgrounds and backyards to celebrate the Fourth of July, it’s vital that precautions are taken prior to lighting campfires and setting off fireworks,” said Dan Laux, DNR fire prevention specialist. “You can have fun while celebrating with friends and family, even if you’re being safe and making sure your property and our natural resources are protected. The best way to avoid the risk of starting a wildfire this holiday weekend is to attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.”
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to an average of 19,700 fires caused by fireworks each year. For those planning to use fireworks, the DNR suggests keeping these safety tips in mind:

  • Sparklers can reach 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt gold. Always place sparklers in a bucket of water when they have gone out; when thrown on the ground, they can cause grass fires.
  • Point fireworks away from homes and keep them away from brush, grass and leaves.
  • Chinese lanterns can stay airborne for 20 minutes and reach heights up to 1 mile high before coming down in unplanned locations. The open flame has the potential to start fires.
  • Soak all fireworks in water before throwing them in the trash.
  • Laux said that in addition to fireworks safety, people should keep the following things in mind when enjoying their campfires:
  • Use fire rings in nonflammable areas when possible.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Keep a water source and shovel nearby.
  • Place roasting sticks in a bucket of water when not in use.
  • Completely extinguish fires before turning in for the night. Douse with water, stir and douse again to make sure no embers are left.

“Fireworks and campfires are a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July, but you’ll enjoy the holidays much more knowing that your family and your property are safe,” Laux said. “Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility.”
For more fire prevention information and safety tips, visit www.michigan.gov/preventwildfires.

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Sand Lake celebrates Fourth of July

It was a grand party in Sand Lake last week, for the town’s 144th annual Fourth of July Celebration. The celebration ran from Wednesday, July 3, through Sunday July 7. A Parade of Lights, honoring area firefighters and law enforcement officials kicked off the festivities Tuesday evening, July 2. People traveled from all over to attend the annual event, which included a midway with carnival rides and games, food, parades, music, fireworks and much more during the 5-day event.


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Celebrate our independence

N-Sand-Lake-bungeeBy Judy Reed


It was 237 years ago that our country’s founding fathers created and signed our Declaration of Independence. And Sand Lake has been throwing a huge party to celebrate that independence for 144 of them.

The 144th annual Sand Lake Fourth of July Celebration will take place this year July 3-7. The theme is “Old Fashioned Small Town Pride.”

There is something for kids and adults alike at the celebration. The town’s Parade of Lights will kick it off Tuesday evening, July 2, with lineup at 8:30 p.m. The midway with carnival rides opens Wednesday, July 3; the grand parade is Thursday, July 4 at 1:30 p.m., with fireworks later that evening at 10:30 p.m.; and Kiddies day is Friday, July 5, complete with a kiddies parade, games and carnival rides. More events take place throughout the week and weekend, including a hot dog eating contest, bed races, music and more.

Click link below to download the schedule.


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Carnival worker dies in accident

By Judy Reed

A carnival worker died early Tuesday morning while folding down the Fire Ball, a ride at the Sand Lake Fourth of July celebration. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Fourth of July celebration in Sand Lake ended in tragedy early Tuesday morning when a carnival worker was electrocuted while taking down a ride.

According to Sand Lake Police Chief Ken Williams, the accident occurred about 3:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, while workers from McDonagh’s Amusements were folding up the Fire Ball, a tall circular ride that replaced the Ferris Wheel.

“The ride was set up in a safe location, and the public was never in any danger,” explained Williams, “but when folding it up, the arms swing out to the side and there was a power line nearby it came in contact with.”

One worker manned the controls, while another was on top of the ride, pushing away a power line with a wooden stick covered with electrical tape on one end. During that process, the man on top was electrocuted. “A witness said someone yelled to him to jump but it was too late,” said Williams.

The man caught on fire and fell 36 feet to the pavement. “It was a horrendous sight for those that saw it,” remarked Williams.

Sand Lake Police, Consumers Energy and MIOSHA at the scene of the accident Tuesday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

Workers from Consumers Energy and MIOSHA were on scene this morning to try to determine what happened. Because the stick the worker used was not burned, they suggested that either the ride came into contact with the power line, or that the victim did. “It’s hard to tell how close you are to a power line when looking straight at it,” explained one Consumers Energy worker. “(After pushing the line away) it may have come back and hit him.”

The victim, identified as Steven McCann, 41, of Jackson, Michigan, was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:26 a.m. An autopsy will be done either today or tomorrow to determine whether he died from electrocution or from the fall.

McDonagh’s Amusements is based in Chesaning, Michigan.


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