Daily News photo/ALY GIBSON Dowagiac and Sister Lakes fire departments hit the lights and sounded the sirens Saturday during the Bigfoot Fourth of July Parade.

Archived Story

Celebrating July 4 with a bang

Published 6:14pm Sunday, July 1, 2012

Red, white and blue could be seen all over Sister Lakes Saturday as visitors and residents celebrated the holiday weekend with the annual Bigfoot Fourth of July Parade and fireworks.

The stretch of 95th Avenue between Lions Park and Sister Lakes Elementary School was lined with spectators of all ages as fire trucks, police cruisers and large utility vehicles paraded by. The Greater Sister Lakes Area Business Association hosted the parade, which got the name “Bigfoot” from the host of monster-hunters that traveled to the area in the summer of 1964 in search of the rumored creature.

“We come here every year,” Christina Jaskiewicz, of Orland Park, Ill., said. “We have family in the area, and about 40 or 50 of us get together for this particular weekend to come enjoy the parade and fireworks.”

Jaskiewicz, who brought along her two small children, clad in bathing suits, said the trip is something the whole family looks forward to each year, especially because of the parade and fireworks display.

“The kids love it; this is one thing they look forward to every single year,” Jaskiewicz said. “My daughter was counting down the days, literally.”

Some of the featured units in the parade included decorated vehicles and boats, fire trucks from Sister Lakes and Dowagiac departments and classic cars.

For Sister Lakes visitor Taylor Prillwitz, the fun part of the parade was the candy.

“It’s a good way to enjoy the holiday,” Prillwitz said.

Prillwitz and her family also hold their annual Fourth of July picnic.

Christina Wilber, of Decatur, once participated in the parade when she was younger and said she was happy to see some new additions.

“I was surprised to see the cement mixer,” Wilber said. “It was nice; I liked it.”

At dusk, campers and residents gathered around the lake to catch the fireworks display, an event that brought out many Dowagiac community members, also.

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