RAPID RIVER, Mich. (WZMQ) – This Memorial Day, Rapid River celebrated 50 years–and then some–of its annual festivities.
“We have been doing it longer than 50, but 50 is the only time we can document it as being 50 years,” said Gail Zierk, parade committee chairperson. “We have many veterans here, people that have served and lived in our community, so we’re doing Memorial Day. That’s ours.”
According to Zierk, the yearly parade quickly became the unofficial start of Delta County’s summer holiday events.
“Rapid River decided well, there’s a Fourth of July Parade, there’s a Labor Day Parade, and they thought, ‘What a perfect one for us to do,'” she said. “The Memorial Day Parade really kind of kicks off the parade activities in this area.”
Other activities this year included a flag raising, bounce houses and games for kids, an adult kickball tournament, a petting zoo, raffles, and the 2nd Annual Amateur Backyard Bar-B-Que Cook-Off.
Zierk says most of the day’s proceeds will go right back into the community, supporting veterans the Upper Peninsula Honor Flight, and the local school system.
“The entire town goes out to celebrate and honor those that did not return,” said Zierk. “Rapid River is a small town, but we have a very, very big heart as far as helping—especially our veterans.”
Rapid River plans to continue its Memorial Day celebration for decades to come. Zierk says it’s become a wonderful time of bringing the community together while honoring the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“Make sure you honor your veterans and honor those that gave it all, because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here,” said Zierk. “We wouldn’t have the freedoms we have. God bless them all.”