A Small Town Independence Day


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.

P7041640 P7041641

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.

P7041717 P7041722

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

P7041700 P7041646

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.

P7041652 P7041638

People and dogs get ready for the parade.

P7041657 P7041658

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.

P7041659 P7041660

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!

P7041654 P7041661

Everyone is waiting…


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

P7041673 P7041674

Some citizens in uniforms, firing very loud muskets.

P7041685 P7041691

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


Of course we have pageant queens,


The kids are checking their loot.

P7041701 P7041693

P7041684 P7041703


there are critters of all sizes,

P7041671 P7041705

P7041706 P7041666

funny hats and hair,

P7041679 P7041678


P7041669 P7041711


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


Look at the expression on those kids’ faces!


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

P7041725 P7041726

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.


Hope your 4th was a good one!


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.

One Response to A Small Town Independence Day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s