DORR TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The Fourth of July has always been a very important day to the people of Dorr. In fact, the town celebrated its 150th Fourth of July in 2019.
"It's the thing that everyone looks forward to," said Dorr resident and Fourth of July celebration committee member, Michael DeVries.
This year, COVID-19 has taken away holiday festivities in several towns across West Michigan, but Dorr's Fourth of July celebration committee is moving forward with their four day event which begins on Thursday with a carnival.
"After COVID happened, we decided, 'hey, this community needs something to look forward to,'" said committee member, Amanda Winters. "We've been locked up for months on end and we need something to look forward to and say, 'you know what? I'm an American and have a right to celebrate.'"
The festivities will feature dozens of events for the whole family to enjoy, including traditions like a parade and fireworks. However, Dorr Township will also have some happenings that are unique such as tractor pulls and an ox roast.
"There are sports, there are businesses, there's events and it's a great way to celebrate together as a family," Winters added.
However, as the pandemic continues, there are concerns in the community about the celebration still being held but organizers say they're doing all they can to keep it all safe.
"If you choose to come out and celebrate then we ask you to mind social distancing and your bubble," said Winters, "we have sanitizers to hand out to families. We'll have sanitizing stations and will have masks and gloves for those serving food."
Carnival rides will also be disinfected consistenly to abide by CDC guidelines and the parade route and has been extended to allow for proper distancing among spectators. The organizers are asking everyone who attends to use common sense.
"This is all outdoors so that makes it a little bit better," said DeVries, who admits he had some concerns about holding festivities this summer at first, "it'll be good, a place that people can come celebrate the independence of our country, it's an important day."
The organizers are asking for additional volunteers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a full schedule of festivities in Dorr Township.