GLADSTONE, Mich. (WZMQ) – Gladstone was buzzing with activity from dawn to dusk this Fourth of July.
A group of cyclists kicked off the day early in the morning for the annual Patriotic Pedal Parade, now in its fourth year.
“We were sitting around the campfire, a bunch of people, and we decided that we should just get together and take a ride along the bay, just for something fun to do,” said Patriotic Pedal Parade founder Tom Nault. “Well in 2020, COVID hit. Gladstone didn’t have a parade, so we decided to put our own parade on that year.”
Since then, the event has grown from 15 cyclists to more than 50. Anyone is welcome to ride with the group, as long as they have an American flag on their bike. Some–like young riders Jony Toiras, Connor Sibbert, and Oliver Arduin-Calouette–went all out.
“I actually decorated my bike with a big balloon!” said Oliver.
“I did as much as possible,” Conner said of his bike. “Any surface I can cover, it got covered.”
The City of Gladstone hosted its annual parade at 11 a.m., which always draws people from far and wide. Crowds then flocked to the harbor for a full day of activities, including live music, games, plenty of food, and the US Log Rolling Open.
“We have an abundance of activities and vendors this year–more than we have in a long time–I think because we have some fundraising groups that are actually sponsoring a lot of the events,” said Kristyn Madalinski, Gladstone Parks and Recreation assistant to the director. “In order to have all of this going on, we need people to work and volunteer at the event, so we’re incredibly grateful.”
Madalinski says Gladstone’s yearly event is designed to bring organizations and individuals together from throughout Delta County to celebrate America’s Independence.
“The whole city gets involved with this, but as you can see, it’s so much more than just the city,” she said. “We have different cities in Delta County that participate, and it just makes it what it is.”
The festivities all lead up to fireworks at dusk, bringing an end to another Independence Day in Gladstone.