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Posted on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Parades kick off 4th of July celebrations Thursday morning

By Chelsea Hoedl

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Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Whitmore Lake will host parades on Thursday in celebration of the Fourth of July.

Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Whitmore Lake will be ringing in the Fourth of July with celebratory parades on Thursday. Looking for an alternative? Washtenaw County residents can recognize Independence Day 2013 with a comedy show or a BBQ as well.

Ann Arbor

The 23rd Annual Ann Arbor Jaycees Fourth of July Parade will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday on the corner of South State and East William streets. The parade will be led by the University of Michigan’s men and women’s swimming and diving coach, Mike Bottom.

Floats, music and walking groups will make their way through downtown Ann Arbor and this year, children ages 12 and under can take part in a bike decorating contest at 9:30 a.m. and then ride their finished bike in the parade.

For more details on the Ann Arbor parade, visit the Ann Arbor Jaycees’ website.


The 84th Annual Ypsilanti Independence Parade hosted by the American Legion and the Ypsilanti Area Jaycees will begin at 11 a.m. on the corner of Oakwood and Cross streets. Participants will wind their way through Depot Town and end at Rice Street.

The parade will feature a little more than 50 participants including live bands, classic cars, business vendors and veterans. The parade will also feature participants from Depot Town's annual Elvisfest, which will take place next week.

For more information about Michigan’s longest-running Independence Day Parade, visit the Ypsilanti Jaycees’ website.

Whitmore Lake

The Whitmore Lake Fourth of July Parade will begin at 10 a.m. on the corner of Barker Road and Main Street and head south on Main towards the Northfield Township Public Safety Building.

Last year the event featured walking groups, marching bands, police on horses and floats, men on stilts and a moving tiki bar.

For more information visit Whitmore Lake’s Fourth of July Facebook page.

Other events scheduled for the Fourth of July include a comedy show and an annual BBQ.

The Capitol Steps, hosted by the Ann Arbor Summer Festival at the Power Center will offer a different form of celebration with shows at 5 and 8 p.m. on Thursday. Political issues, events and personalities will be poked fun at in a show featuring song parodies and sketches. Tickets are between $30 and $50 and can be purchased online.

The Sons of American Legion Post 31 will be hosting their annual July Fourth Chicken BBQ as well. Grilled chicken dinners include coleslaw, baked beans, a bag of chips and a roll for $9. Those hoping to participate in the meal may arrive at 11 a.m. Post 31 at 1700 Ridge Road. Everyone is welcome.

Have something to add to Washtenaw County's Fourth of July schedule? Leave it below in the comments or email us at

Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for She can be reached at



Thu, Jul 4, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

Yosilanti has always had a great parade. Have fun people wherever you go to watch a parade and since I'm working tomorrow will someone BBQ a hamburger and hot dog for me?


Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

As I approach July 04, 2013, on what should have been the 71st annual Whitmore Lake Parade, disappointment sets in with the 1st annual Northfield Township Parade. So sad to see the end of a 70 year tradition without any input from the citizens of Whitmore Lake ( i.e. residents of BOTH Northfield Township and Green Oak Township) In the name of safety they say. Well, in the 27 years that I have been attending the parade, I cannot recall a single accident. Over the years, we have had average, below average and a few above average temperatures for the 4th of July parade. As responsible parents of children in the parade, responsible pet owners of pet owners of pets in the parade and adult parade goers, we take the necessary precautions to keep our children, our pets and ourselves, safe, dry, warm or cool in the parade. If we can't be certain our efforts are safe, then the individual children, pets and adult parade goers can choose not to be in the parade due to weather conditions. While the earlier start time was a good idea, eliminating a WHOLE township from the parade was unnecessary and thoroughly disappointing. Some of my fondest memories of walking to the parade was seeing all the people gathered on lawns waiting for the parade to begin. Now, there's not even space for the Green Oak Township residents and their guest to safely view the parade. We don't end a 70 year old parade tradition to accommodate the needs of a few. I sincerely hope the board reconsiders the parade route for next year.

Adam Betz

Wed, Jul 3, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

Can we please start calling this Independence Day? That is what the celebration is about. The 4th of July is a date, not an event.