By: Chris Faulknor, Publisher
The Boyne City 4th of July Festival was hailed as yet another success by many of those involved this past Wednesday.
“It was a very good year,” said Liz Kroondyk, who is co-chair of the 4th of July Festival Committee.
“There were plenty of smiling faces, laughing kids, and some very happy days in Boyne City,” she added.
Kroondyk reported an excellent fireworks display, games, a successful soapbox derby, and a general good time overall.
“I think people were really wondering how we would do with the middle of the week festival, being on a Wednesday and such,” said Chamber Director Jim Baumann.
“As it turns out, a lot of people came for the whole week, and we got two really great weekends out of it too,” he added.
Another unique tenant of the festival is the ability for nonprofit organizations to use the festival to raise funds.
“Some come out and raise some money, I think it’s great that they can do that,” added Kroondyk.
The Boyne City Rotary Club is one such organization, and along with their float in the parade, they also put on their “World Famous Chicken Dinner” in Veterans Memorial Park.
“Our chicken dinner went well this year, especially thanks to our Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who helped us serve,” said Rotary President Martha Mishler.
Mishler added that the funds raised go to help the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts they sponsor, sending a candidate for a Rotary leadership conference, two $1,000 scholarships for graduating seniors, community christmas, and a variety of other endeavors.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity, and glad it works out so well,” added Mishler.
The Eta Nu Woman’s Fraternity also takes the approach of giving back.
“We dress up as clowns for the parade,” said Kathie Beamer.
Beamer added that along with being entertaining, the clowns sell trinkets for donations.
“The donations go back to help the 4th of July Festival, and improve the fireworks fund,” added Beamer.
“It’s a lot of fun, and we really appreciate the chance to give back to the community and be a part of the festival,” added Beamer.
The Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce holds a duck race to benefit the chamber’s overall mission.
“We sold about 850 duck tickets, which was right up there among the top two we’ve ever done,” said Executive Director Jim Baumann.
“It’s kind of a silly thing, but it’s a major fundraiser that helps us keep the doors open.”
The Boyne Area Garden Club enjoys a pie sale under the pavillion in Veterans Park.
The Garden Club pays for and maintains the many flower beds strewn about Boyne City, including those near buildings and on the bridge crossing the Boyne River.
For the Kiwanis, the 4th of July isn’t a fundraiser, in fact, more the opposite.
“We start out doing hospitality for the parade lineup in the morning,” said Kiwanian Scott MacKenzie.
The Kiwanians bring coffee and donuts to those involved with and marching in the Grand Parade, and went though over 350 bottles of water this year.
“From there, we zip on down and partner with Glens Market for a pie eating contest, in which there were over 120 participants” added MacKenzie.
In addition, the Kiwanis sponsor their yearly kids games, gaining hundreds of participants.
“Once again, the kids beat the grown ups in the tug of war,” said MacKenzie.
When asked about where the money goes, MacKenzie had little to say.
“It’s all free and complimentary; the Kiwanis focus on kids and making the world a better place one child at a time,” he added.
While many nonprofits make use of this opportunity, there is always room for more according to Kroondyk.
“I wish more nonprofits would take advantage of the festival, there’s so much opportunity out there for fund raising,” said Kroondyk.
Anyone whose group may be interested in participating in the Independence Day festivities is encouraged to contact anyone on the 4th of July Committee or the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce