by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
Thousands are expected to fill the streets of Onaway Tuesday when the community kicks off its annual Fourth of July celebration.
The Onaway Community Chamber of Commerce and city of Onaway have been busy this week putting the finishing touches on the forthcoming events.
The city’s department of public works crew has been cutting grass, clipping weeds, getting the podiums out and making sure the city looks its best.
Things get started Saturday at the Onaway Speedway with kids’ night and a fireworks display after the races.
Monday begins the two-day run of the Dancing Hippopotamus Arts and Crafts. It has been widely popular since moving to the lawn of the Onaway Courthouse Building. The hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.
On the morning of the Fourth, Holy Cross Lutheran Church hosts a 5K walk/run. Registration for the 8 a.m. event is at 7:30 a.m.
The activities get into gear at 10 a.m. with kids’ games at Maxon Field. It’s about the same time, United Methodist Church starts its pie and ice cream social.
At 11 a.m., there are a number of organizations that will be serving food.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5857 will begin serving barbecue chicken dinner until sold out. Folks are invited to dine in or take out.
St. Paul Catholic Church opens its salad bar until 3p.m. and American Legion F.P.J. Post 317 will be serving hot dogs at Brian’s Auto Sales.
At noon, the parade, with the theme of Wild West, makes its way up Washington Avenue.
“We expect to take you back in time to the Wild West with our parade theme this year,” said Jessica Richards, chamber president. “So, saddle up your horses and lasso your lads/lassies and come on down to join us in Onaway!”
The parade will feature dozens of entries led by grand marshal Bernie Schmeltzer and ambassador Tom Ellenberger.
The most anticipated moment of the parade is when the entry from Moran Iron Works makes its way down Washington and State.
Tom Moran has kept it a secret while his work crews and Industrial Arts Institute students fabricated it in the big shop.
“It’s the world’s largest Cracker Jack box,” Moran jokingly said. He usually listens to suggestions early in the year. It could be related to the history of the area, like last year’s Lobdell Emery locomotive now stationed at Awakon Park. Or, it could be the bust of a famous person.
Many don’t find out what it is until the afternoon of the Fourth.
Following the parade is the Onaway Fire Department water fight at the corner of State and Veterans Drive.
The annual fireworks show takes place at dusk.
Richards encourages everyone to take advantage of the many activities before leaving town.