Celebrating the nation’s birthday

SOUTH RANGE – Although there was concern by some residents earlier this year it might not happen, the South Range Fourth of July celebration will take place, continuing a more than 100-year-old tradition.

Mike Rompf, president of the South Range Business Association and Fourth of July committee member, said after a meeting was conducted in April in the community building to gauge interest in continuing the events, village residents started showing their support beginning with another meeting the following week.

“There were even more people there,” he said. “I felt pretty good about it.”

The business owners in the village are also showing interest in taking part in the events, Rompf said.

“They’re starting to get on board because they figured we were serious,” he said.

He’s pleased people who haven’t been part of Fourth of July events planning are now involved because new ideas are needed, Rompf said.

Although people have volunteered to run eight sub-committees, Rompf said people are still needed to work on the parade, including judges.

Rompf said the parade marshal this year is long-time South Range resident Eleanor Maki, who has been very active in the village for years.

The fireworks for the Fourth have been ordered, and they will be operated by members of the village fire department, Rompf said.

“They could be here in a week or so,” he said.

Rompf said the Fourth of July committee has been well supported by the community this year.

“Financial support has been good,” he said. “Right now, I have just over $1,000.”

The committee started the year with about $5,600 carried over from last year, Rompf said.

Various forms of fundraising are being conducted to get the money needed for this year and as seed money for next year, Rompf said. T-shirts from South Range business Nine0Six Enterprises are being sold to raise money. The T-shirts will have local business names and logos on them. Even businesses without a logo can ask Nine0Six to create one.

Rompf said the committee members hope to get a band for the parade, but none of the high school bands are available, so they’ll look to another possible source.

“We’re looking to get the (Michigan) Tech pep band,” he said.

Some floats for the parade have been committed, but Rompf said the committee members would like more. Prizes for the floats are $150 for first place, $100 for second, and $75 for third. The VFW Post 6165 will also give a $200 prize for the most patriotic float.

The committee members have talked about having a community picnic for the Fourth celebration, but Rompf said that isn’t yet scheduled.

“We’re still working on that,” he said.

If a picnic does take place, Rompf said it will be some time after the Fourth.

Food and drinks will be sold at several locations in the village throughout the day, Rompf said.

Despite the fact there was concern the South Range Fourth of July celebration might not take place this year, Rompf said it will happen and he’s looking forward to it.

“I think this is going to be pretty good,” he said. “I’m very enthusiastic.”