A Small Town Independence Day

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My favorite place to spend July 4th is in the small village of Saugatuck. Saugatuck has no McDonald’s, no malls, no large store chains and the residents are proud of this. The village, located at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River near Lake Michigan attracts a lot of sailors and boating folk as far away as Chicago. In the early 1900’s the town was considered an artist colony attracting artists and summer residents even today. I first discovered Saugatuck in the summer of 1974, when I took a big step in my life at age 19, and spent the season working at a professional summer stock theatre called the Red Barn Theatre. The theatre is still there, but it is now an antique shop and the two cabins in the back that housed staff and actors are long gone. I loved the small town atmosphere, the art galleries, the wonderful, unique shops and the friendly folk. I try to visit at least once or twice every summer. I especially love to visit on the 4th of July to see a real, old fashioned, small town parade.

Be sure to click on the photos for a closer view.

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One of the many art galleries in town. This is one of my favorites because it includes a lovely little garden with garden sculpture for sale.

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Some of my favorite shops. The ice cream shop hasn’t changed since I worked here in the early 1970’s.

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Two shops set in old buildings with a lot of character. The shop on the left used to be a wonderful bakery, now it carries southwestern clothes and jewelry. On the right is Good Goods, which started out as an inn in the 1920’s through the 1980’s and has a huge wrap-around porch. They carry eclectic arts and crafts. I always find something that I must have.

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People and dogs get ready for the parade.

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While eating my picnic lunch in the village park, I noticed this little girl waving a flag. She was so cute, I had to get a shot. Or two.

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Don’t you think she looks like a picture from a Norman Rockwell painting? She is so excited and can’t wait for the parade to begin!

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Everyone is waiting…

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and begins with Lady Liberty….in the back of a truck.

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Some citizens in uniforms, firing very loud muskets.

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The enthusiasm is catching. The local brewery uses a tennis racket to produce bubbles as a symbol of their beer.

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Of course we have pageant queens,

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The kids are checking their loot.

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there are critters of all sizes,

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funny hats and hair,

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and all sorts of transportation. Of all the decorated cars, The VW was my favorite.

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Look at the expression on those kids’ faces!

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All the firetrucks flashing lights and blaring sirens signal the end of the parade. Holy Cow! Was there anyone left to mind the firehouse?

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Walking back to the car. Since the village is built into a hillside, most sidewalks include these great-looking steps. I’m thinking they have an art deco look to them.

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Hope your 4th was a good one!

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About Jill-O

a girl who likes lakes, trees and critters; making an attempt at living the artistic life.
This entry was posted in community, Michigan, photos, Seasonal, summer, travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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