4th of July celebrations in Door County
DOOR COUNTY – If it’s almost time for the 246th anniversary of our country’s declaration of independence – and it is – then it’s also time for all the fireworks, food , flag waving, parades, music and other fun things we do to celebrate.
This is especially true in Door County, with seven communities across the peninsula, and even beyond, hosting 4th of July fireworks between July 2 and July 4 (as well than a post-Fourth celebration the following weekend). Here’s a quick look at when and how to celebrate during the days and exclaim “ooh!” and “ah!” under a brightly lit night sky.
Here’s a fireworks show on the Saturday of the holiday weekend that’s totally unofficial but promises to be as spectacular as any.
Although the Fish Creek Civic Association has not held a 4th of July celebration since 2018, for the second year in a row, a group of local businesses and individuals have obtained the permits and will launch fireworks from a barge in the bay at dusk on July 2. Although the fireworks are not presented by any government or local organization, a source says the cost of the fireworks is equal to or greater than any Independence Day spectacle outside of Green Bay, so even if they don’t last very long, they could be quite memorable.
The Egg Harbor Business Association continues its tradition of holding its Independence Day celebration not just one day but two, with music and fireworks on July 3 and a parade on July 4.
The festivities begin with food and refreshments, including hot corn, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 3 at Harbor View Park, 7809 State 42. Popular local country band Modern Day Drifters are on stage at the park from from 5 p.m., and what organizers say is one of Wisconsin’s most spectacular fireworks displays over the harbor at dusk (around 9:30 a.m.). The beach closes at 2 p.m. for the fireworks.
The 4th of July sees the traditional parade at 1:30 p.m. through downtown Egg Harbor, heading south along State 42 from the north end of Church Street to County T. The Return of the Marching Band from the University of Wisconsin is scheduled after a two-year absence. will also perform her famous Fifth Quarter routine in Harbor View Park after the parade. The Door County Historical Society provides food and refreshments beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing after the parade.
For more information on parade access or for more information, call 920-868-3717 or visit eggharbordoorcounty.org.
And there’s plenty of music to be found in Egg Harbor for the holidays, too.
Firstly, because the first day of the 4th of July celebration in the village falls on a Sunday, this means that visitors can attend a free outdoor concert as part of the Sunset Concert Serieswhich takes place every Sunday night throughout the summer in the amphitheater at the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center, 7840 Church St.
Playing this concert are the Children of Wisconsin, a song and dance troupe made up of some of the state’s most talented artists between the ages of 15 and 20 who tour as the state’s official musical ambassadors. Their show “Big Bang Boom” begins at 6 p.m. on July 3 (the usual time for the Sunset series is 7 p.m.). The Egan PAC is outdoors in a park that attracts up to 2,500 spectators, and attendees must bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. Feedback is welcome.
So, Birch Creek Music Performance Center is hosting a special matinee concert, “A Birch Creek Symphonic Fourth,” at 3 p.m. July 4 at the 500-seat Dutton Concert Barn on its campus, 3 miles east of County E village. Classical and patriotic tunes will be played in the program by Symphony Session students from the Birch Creek Music Summer Academy and the professional musicians from across the country who teach them during the day.
Tickets are $29 for adults, $10 for students, $6 for ages 11 and under. Face masks for members of the public are optional under COVID-19 health protocols from June 21. For tickets or more information, call 920-868-3763 or visit birchcreek.org.
After a year off, the Maplewood Athletic Club has stepped up fundraising efforts to bring the 4th of July fireworks back to Southern Door.
The fireworks display takes place at dusk (around 9:30 p.m.) on July 3, and the Athletics Club will operate the concession stand throughout the evening. Parking and the best viewing spots are available at Baumann Ball Park, next to Forestville City Hall, 7705 County H, just west of Wisconsin 42. Rain date is July 4th.
Plus, those who watch the fireworks can make it a true American Day by going to a baseball game. The Door County League plays most of its games on Sundays, and fans can watch the Maplewood Mets welcome Kolberg to the ballpark at 1:30 p.m. and stick around for the fireworks.
For more information, visit forestvilletown.com.
The traditional 4th of July parade returns after a year off at the Baileys Harbor Community Association’s annual Independence Day celebration, which also includes art, pancakes, strawberries (also back after a break) and , of course, fireworks.
Things start with a two-day arts and crafts fair taking place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 3-4 on the lawn outside City Hall, 2392 County F.
The 4th of July festivities kick off with the Baileys Harbor Fire Department serving a pancake breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the fire station, 2404 Park Road.
Food vendors and other concessions open at 9 a.m. in front of City Hall, along with face painting for kids.
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The annual Strawberry Festival, sponsored by the Baileys Harbor Women’s Club, is back for 4th of July fun. With strawberries, shortbread and ice cream for sale, it starts at 10 a.m. at the town hall and continues until 2 p.m. or until the berries run out. Proceeds are donated to high school graduates who live in Baileys Harbour.
The parade begins at 10:00 a.m., heading along County Q State 57 from the north side of the community to Summit Road on the south end. After the parade, around 11 a.m., groove rock band Sneezy brings live music to City Hall.
After the day’s events, fireworks explode over Lake Michigan at dusk.
For more information, call 920-839-2366 or visit baileysharbor.doorcounty.com.
Destination Sturgeon Bay hosts its annual “Sturgeon Bay Celebrates!”, a festive evening of music, refreshments and fireworks on July 4 at Sunset Park, 737 N. Third Ave.
Food and drinks are served starting at 5 p.m., including popcorn and a number of food vendors new to the event. The music stage features reggae by Unity the Band at 6 p.m. until the fireworks start at dusk (between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.), with views all around the bay.
For more information, call 920-743-6246 or visit sturgeonbay.net.
The July 14 festivities at the tip of the Presqu’île take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4 at the municipal park.
Food will be served and live music will be played in the park, and a whitefish sandwich fries fundraiser will be held next door for Death’s Door Maritime Museum, the Gills Rock satellite site of the Door County Maritime Museum. which focuses on the commercial fishing traditions of the peninsula. The traditional boat regatta in the bay starts about an hour before dusk (around 7.30pm), with fireworks starting at dusk.
For more information, call 920-854-4450 or visit doorcountynorth.org.
For those taking a ferry off the tip of the peninsula, the Washington Island Fireworks Show begins around 8:30 p.m. on July 4 at the Washington Island Ball Park on Main Road.
Before illuminating the night, a parade of children will take place. Kids can line up at Legion Hall around 7 p.m. and walk, roll, skate or whatever to the ballpark.
The day’s festivities also include a fundraiser for a fire/rescue boat for the Washington Island Fire Department. The department is holding a drive-thru from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the fire station, 1290 Airport Road. The department will also have shirts and other merchandise for sale during the fry and at the fireworks, as well as a model of the new boat.
For more information, call 920-847-2179 or visit washingtonisland.com; For information on ferries to and from the island, call 920-847-2546 or visit wisferry.com.
As they have done for a number of years, the Sister Bay Advancement Association is keeping the fireworks going the week after everyone’s 4th of July festivities with its annual July 9 Freedom Festival on Saturday next. The event begins at 10 a.m. at Waterfront Park with a brat fry by the Sister Bay Lions Club. Fireworks are launched at dusk.
For more information, call 920-854-3230 or visit sisterbay.com.
For those who want to watch the fireworks from a different perspective, Sister Bay Scenic Boat Tours offers fireworks cruises from its dock at Sister Bay Marina on North Bay Shore Drive.
The Fish Creek July 2 show cruise is sold out, but seats are currently available for the July 4 show at Gills Rock (2.5 hours, 8:15 p.m. departure) and Freedom Fest show from Sister Bay on July 9 (2 hours, departure at 8:30 p.m.). Double-decker cruises feature live music and a full-service bar.
Tickets are $39 and reservations are highly recommended. runners should consider bringing a jacket for the night chill. For reservations or more information, call 920-421-4444 or visit doorcountyboats.com and click on “Specialty Cruises” under the “Boat Tours” tab.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected]