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By Sterling McGinn

The crowds were lighter than normal, and throwing candy was forbidden, but Independence Day celebrations went on as otherwise planned over the weekend in both Newberry and Curtis.

The Newberry parade began at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, and travelled the usual route starting from the American Legion, and ending at Washington Blvd.

Because the Newberry Fire Department was named grand marshal of the parade, they were near the front of the parade. This means the annual water fight between the department and balloon-toting watchers began almost immediately.

“I think the parade went well,” stated organizer Sarah Price Freeman. “The turn out seemed good, and you could clearly see that people maintained safe distances.”

The theme of the parade was “Let Freedom Ring”, though there were no awards given for float entries. And to promote health and safety during this pandemic, candy and handouts were not allowed in the parade.

The annual Historic Photo Show and the Newberry Fire Department open house were both cancelled this year.

Though Newberry did not have an official fireworks display, an unofficial fireworks show was held at the Schubach Farms on M-123 at dusk.

In Curtis, a light crowd attended the parade on Sunday, July 5. Many places on the parade route were bare, and watchers appeared to stay with the groups they arrived with. Very few wore masks.

The Curtis parade took place Sunday, July 5 at 12:30 p.m. The parade route was extended to Three Lakes Academy to allow more room for spectators to spread out. Candy and handouts were also not permitted in Curtis.

Float winners were: 1st place: Main Street Floral; 2nd place: Dan Duberville-1942 side by side; 3rd place: End of the Road Winery and honorable mentions R&M Logging and Riley Zerby. The parade theme was “United We Stand.” Curtis citizen Ethel Wells served as grand marshal.

The Manistique Lakes Lions Club held their annual chicken BBQ, roasting 250 chickens outside and selling out before the parade even began.

A large crowd turned out for the Curtis fireworks, which took place at dusk.

Fireworks displays also took place in Grand Marais and Naubinway.