Alpena’s upcoming Independence Day celebration- Don’t miss out on these must-see, must-do events happening on the 4th of July in Alpena this year! Photo courtesy of Paul Gerow

Alpena is gearing up to celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, one of our most beloved holidays. You’ll find the day jam packed with festivities for the whole family. Don’t miss out on these must-see, must-do events happening this 4th of July in Alpena this year!

Listed by start time, morning to evening. 

The Alpena News Annual Sandcastle Contest– Registration begins at 8:00 am with judging taking place at 1:00 pm for children’s sandcastles, and 3:00 pm for adults. Sandcastles will remain up for the remainder of the day after judging, so stop on by and take some pictures of these one-of-a-kind sand masterpieces!

Independence Day 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run– 8:30 am- 11 am. Hosted by the Dork Brothers Racing Team, this annual race will take place at the Aplex in Alpena. Contact Dork Brothers Racing team for an entry form, or gather at the Aplex to show your support for all the runners! T-shirts available for purchase with all funds raised going towards local charities. 

17th Annual Thunder Bay Maritime Festival– 10 am- 5 pm. Free Admission for all ages. 

The cardboard boat regatta is fun for participants and spectators alike!

  • Start the festivities off a day early on July 3rd with the 4th Annual Battle of the Paddles at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Kayak, SUP, or canoe your way down the Thunder Bay River for the chance to win the golden paddle! Also a spectators sport, this race can be viewed from the rooftop deck party and craft beer tasting at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center from 4:30-8 pm. Registration begins at 4 pm, the race begins at 5:30 pm. 
  • Entertainment at the big tent on the 4th will include talented musicians Jake Allen at 12:30 pm, The Accidentals at 1:00 pm, and Charles Madison at 3:00 pm. 
  • The famous Cardboard Boat Regatta will begin set-up and fine tuning at 11:00 am and participants will check in by 1:00 pm. At 2:30 pm the race begins and you will not want to miss this! Which team will win in their cardboard boat? Who will sink and who will swim? Root for your favorites and celebrate with everyone at 4:00 pm for the awards ceremony. 
  • What else will you find at the Maritime Festival? Face painting, a water slide, kid’s activities, ROV demonstrations, helicopter tours, displays, and so much more…

Alpena’s Lafarge 4th of July Parade– 11 am- 1 pm. The parade will begin at 11 am at the Alpena County Fairgrounds, continue down 11th Ave. to Chisholm St., onto 2nd Ave., cross the bridge, and then turn left on Fletcher. This year’s parade theme is “4th of July in Movies” and is brought to you by the Performance Locker. 

Awe-inspiring creations made in the sands of Starlite Beach.

Alpena Optimist Rubber Duck Race– Tickets will be sold for the rubber duck race during the parade. After the parade ends, rubber ducks will be released at the 9th St. bridge where you can watch them float down the river to Rotary Island Mill Park. 

True North Radio Network 2017 Summer Concert Series featuring: Thunderstruck: America’s AC/DC at Bay View Park– 7 pm- 10 pm. Free concert in the park with Thunderstruck, a tribute to AC/DC. A rocking good time for all ages! 

4th of July Party in the Parking Lot– The annual 4th of July party in the parking lot will be happening again at the Court Yard restaurant this year. Join in for live music by The Legacy from 7pm-10pm, followed by The LBA from 10pm-1am. Fireworks also viewable from this location. 

Alpena Community Fireworks Display-At dusk, the fireworks begin and can be seen from miles around. Many gather at Bay View Park, Starlight Beach, and Alpena’s Boat Harbor to watch the spectacular show over Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay.

Hope to see you there!