Thursday, September 3, 2015

"Outrageously offbeat" Horton Bay Parade to return on July 4th, 2016

Chip Lorenger is already promoting the parade
at the Horton Bay General Store.
A group of Horton Bay area residents are planning to revive their wacky 4th of July Parade parade in 2016. They have scheduled a fund-raiser from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6 at the Horton Bay General Store. Popular local band Horton Creek will play for the fund-raiser, and some of the band members are active on a committee planning the parade. Organizers have started a Facebook page with with photos from past parades, and posts such as "Fun Horton Bay Parade fact: Average attendance 2,500, but peak was 10,000 in 1980's (in a village of 38 people!)." The parade was held every year or two starting in the late 1970s through 2008. In 2009 the parade was cancelled. However, according to the Petoskey News-Review, "In the spirit of Horton Bay craziness, it's been reported that parade spectators are still planning on gathering for the non-parade. Horton Bay General Store owners are hosting the non-parade event at noon on Saturday, July 4, in front of their store," where they planned to sit on the porch and wave at passing cars. In 1998, Horton Bay resident Sara Gay Damman wrote a feature story on the parade for the Chicago Tribune, which began like this: "An opportunity for public humiliation." That is the pitch John Rohe, czar of Horton Bay's Annual 4th of July Parade, uses to lure otherwise normal people into entering what many believe is one of the most outrageously offbeat Independence Day parades in the U.S."

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