In case you missed it, here are some photos of the Third Annual Fourth of July Parade that took place in the little village of Old Mission on Sunday, July 2, 2017. Officially, it’s the “Old Mission Bay Street Annual 4th of July Parade.”
I heard a rumor about this parade last year, but not until after the fact, so I didn’t make it last year. This year, Donna Valdmanis sent me a note on Saturday and asked if I knew anything about a parade. I’m so glad she did, because I had meant to find out about it (you know, BEFORE it actually happened) and had forgotten.
So I immediately sent a note to Mary Shultz, who knows everything. She wrote back and said yes, the parade was happening – the next day! So I whipped together a post for the Gazette and sent it to Facebook. By the next morning, the Facebook post had something like 2000 views.
After church on Sunday, I raced home to pick up Tim, and we went to the parade and learned a little more about how it came to be. The story is that a group of residents in the little village of Old Mission – after one too many glasses of wine on Morgan Leigh Kelsey’s porch on Bay Street and after deciding they didn’t want to trek into Traverse City for a parade in town – got the idea to create an Old Mission Parade.
The organizers include, left to right in photo below: Judy Harshman, Connie Parliament, Doug Parliament, Morgan Kelsey, Mike Hall, Judy Shaheen, John Purrenhage, Lisa Armentrout and Rick Armentrout. Thank you so much, All!
Connie Parliament, who has a house across from Morgan’s, is one of the parade organizers. Connie, who is Don Rohl’s daughter (Don was an Old Mission Peninsula mechanic extraordinaire who I believe worked for Arnold White for a while), lives part of the year on Bay Street and part of the year in West Branch. She and her husband Doug live on their family farm there, and Connie said they’ve always been the party organizers because they have a great building for it in West Branch. Their event-organizing skills followed them to Old Mission.
In fact, after the parade, Connie invited Tim and I to the picnic in their backyard and we happily obliged! The food was amazing, and Tim and I, having both grown up in Old Mission, couldn’t have been happier to see Bay Street bustling with joyful activity.
As for the parade, there were hundreds of people who showed up to watch or participate, with kids on bikes, grownups on motorcycles and tractors, even a horse-drawn carriage. I must say, there were some very creative and patriotic costumes celebrating Fourth of July! The parade started in front of Mike Norton’s house on Bay Street (across from Haserot Beach), went down Bay Street, around the corner on Woodland Road, and up Traverse Street, ending at the American Legion Hall.
Next year, we’ll be sure to post a note on the Gazette about the parade a week or two ahead of time (Connie has my phone number, and I set a reminder in my calendar). Until then, enjoy the photos and have a great Fourth of July!
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