Bigfoot Parade steps off Saturday

Published 9:56 am Thursday, June 25, 2015

Before the area’s annual fireworks show lights up the skies above later that evening, the streets of Sister Lakes will be filled with the excitement and buzz of the community’s other Independence Day celebration.

The Fourth of July Bigfoot Parade returns to the lakeside community Saturday evening, kicking off at 5 p.m. at Lions Park, located at 66991 95th Ave.

As in previous years, the parade procession will head west from the park grounds down 95th Avenue, turning north on Sister Lakes Road, following the road up to the M-152 intersection; from there, they head west, ending at Sister Lakes Elementary School a short distance away.

Held every year in conjunction with the Lions Club’s Fourth of July firework show, the Bigfoot parade usually has between 20 to 25 units participating every year, with hundreds of residents and visitors lining the parade route to observe the action.

The event draws its name from the mythical Bigfoot monster, which became a part of Sister Lakes lore after someone supposedly sighted the creature in the area in the mid-1960s.

Organizing this year’s parade are members of the Sister Lakes Fire Department, taking over for longtime organizers with the Sister Lakes Business Association after helping them put on the parade last year.

“Last year was definitely interesting,” said Ashley Lozada, parade organizer and vice president of the fire department. “It went really well. We had a good turnout, and we’re hoping for a better one
this year.”

Old parade standbys, such as engines with the Sister Lakes and other local fire departments, are expected to return this year, Lozada said. Several businesses in the region are expecting to field floats this year as well, Lozada said.

“It’s nice for them [businesses] to be in the parade since it gives them a lot of free advertising,” she said. “It’s fun for the community and fun for the residents as well.”

With invitations have been sent out to over 100 different area entities, organizers expect many units to register the day of the event Saturday, Lozada said.

“Normally it’s a surprise to see who shows up,” she said. “We normally get a pretty good turnout, we just don’t know who all will be in it until the day of the parade.”

With many floats tossing candy and other treats for kids, both young and old are sure to get something out of Saturday’s parade, Lozada said.

“One of the best parts about Sister Lakes and the Dowagiac area is that they always pull together for these types of events,” she said.

The Sister Lakes Fire Department will also be hosting a Port a Pit fundraiser at their firehouse that Saturday as well, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.