How Things Work: Ludington’s Fourth of July.

June 27, 2022

Scottville Clown Band in downtown Ludington. File Photo by Todd Reed.

How Things Work: Ludington’s Fourth of July.

A column by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

Next Monday is my favorite holiday, Independence Day, the Fourth of July. In Ludington, the event that celebrates Independence Day is known as the Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival. The Jaycees have been in charge of this event for at least the last five decades (give or take). The event includes a 1-mile dash that begins right before the 2 p.m. parade (registration is at Leveaux Park, east of Madison Street, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.), the Grand Parade, and, of course, the fireworks that begin at dusk. 

While this event takes place in the City of Ludington and happens thanks to the blessing of the Ludington City Council, along with some auxiliary support of the Ludington Department of Public Works and other city staff, it is completely organized by the Ludington Area Jaycees, a private organization, and it is completely funded through donations. 

As a past president of the Ludington Area Jaycees, I can tell you that the Jaycees is a small organization that does a big amount of work. Organizing this event each year requires a lot of volunteer hours. It also requires a lot of money. Those fireworks aren’t cheap. And, several of the entertainment venues in the parade, like the popular Scottville Clown Band, are paid. 

None of us are entitled to these events. They don’t automatically happen and your city government isn’t responsible to put them on. In fact, very few communities hold Independence Day celebrations on the scale of Ludington or even hold them at all. What would you pay to take your family out to dinner or to the movies? Is it worth sending a donation to the Jaycees for the great entertainment you get on Fourth of July? 

If you would like to donate, you can easily do so right here online by clicking this link. If you would prefer to write a check, they will take those as well. Send your check to Ludington Area Jaycees, PO Box 411, Ludington, MI 49431. 

If you would like to volunteer with the Freedom Festival or would like to learn more about joining the Jaycees (you must be between the ages of 21 and 40, as the Jaycees are the Junior Chamber of Commerce and exist to promote business and social networking of young adults), you may also reach out by visiting www.jciludington.org. 

How Things Work is a regular column/opinion editorial by Rob Alway, editor-in-chief and owner of Mason County Press and Oceana County Press. Rob has been a professional journalist for over 36 years. 

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