June 27, 2017
I’m here. You know me. Flags wave, people parade, veterans march, and hot dogs are grilled, while I watch. It’s my favorite time of the year, to be sure. But what is so special, as I look around Downtown Petoskey, is the number of people having fun and making it all look so easy.
This little community jumps from around 6,000 people to upwards of 40,000 if you include surrounding resorts, hotels, vacation rentals, and long-standing vacation homes that have been with generations of families since the 1870’s. Even with those numbers, Downtown Petoskey runs as smooth as silk.
I love the people who celebrate me and what I stand for. I love the bunting on shops and front porches. I am amazed that Petoskey’s parade winds its way from the high school and ends up downtown at Pennsylvania Park where more celebrations begin.
The ice cream shops bedazzle visitors with new confections made just for me. Stores have sales soliciting one’s patriotism and the Petoskey heart and soul of shopping local. Restaurants roll out special menus, and late-night revelry pauses as everyone watches the final act before resuming celebrations long into the night.
As my day progresses through the many scenes, that final act is when the fireworks come out. The display over Little Traverse Bay is spectacular, and given any vantage point from the downtown area, you not only see Petoskey’s fireworks, but across the bay, Harbor Springs puts on a wonderful show at the same time. At curtain call, everyone applauds and songs are sung.
Welcome to my day, the 4th of July and come wish me well. I promise to watch over Petoskey and make sure you can enjoy the trip of a lifetime; then you’ll see why over so many years, and so many generations, families return again and again.