Celebrate an all American 4th of July in the Straits of Mackinac

No place celebrates America’s independence quite like the communities in the Straits of Mackinac. Bring your family and enjoy a full day of activities in Mackinaw City, including:

Over on Mackinac Island, you’re invited to join in An American Picnic (July 4-5, 6:30-10:30pm) at Fort Mackinac, which will be decked out in its red, white and blue bunting for its celebration of July 4 with An American Picnic. Enjoy delicious BBQ on the parade ground, listen to the 38-gun salute (one for each state in the union), and feel the tremble of the cannon as celebratory cannon shots are fired louder and louder to celebrate our independence. Tickets are required and are available through Mackinac State Historic Parks.

Those looking for a more unique experience may be interested in the special fireworks cruises offered by Shepler’s Ferry and Star Line Ferry. Imagine being on a boat out in the waters of the Straits of Mackinac as the fireworks explode in a plethora of colors above your head! During these 90-minute excursions, you’ll see the light displays not only from Mackinaw City but also from St. Ignace and Mackinac Island. Space is limited and advanced reservations are required by contacting the individual ferry lines and are weather permitting.


Mackinaw City Releases 2018 Visitor’s Guide to the Straits Area

The Mackinaw City area has been welcoming visitors for centuries, drawn to the natural freshwaters of the Straits of Mackinac, the rich woodlands and natural resources, the ongoing history and genuine Northern Michigan hospitality.

To aid travelers in their future visits to the area, the Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau has published its 2018 Visitors Guide, available free at all Pure Michigan Welcome Centers, at select locations in the Mackinaw City area and at Midwest consumer shows represented by the West Michigan Tourist Association.* It can also be viewed online at https://www.mackinawcity.com/contact-us/visitors-guide/.

“We have created this Mackinaw Area Visitors Guide to help you plan your next visit with us,” says Deb Spence, Executive Director of the Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau. “We hope you find it useful, educational and entertaining.”

The 40-page guide features articles about the Mackinac Bridge, Headland International Dark Sky Park, Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), Mackinac Island, sculptures of Jerry Prior, lighthouses, Day Trip Destinations and winter activities in the Straits, among others. It also includes listings for area accommodations, shops, restaurants, parks and services, as well as a list of 2018 special events, of interest to visitors and locals alike.

WMTA 2018 Consumer Shows

Cottage & Lakefront Living Show

March 1-4 in Novi, MI

Grand Rapids Women’s Show

March 9-11 in Grand Rapids, MI

Michigan Golf Show

March 9-11 in Novi, MI

Good Sam Indy RV Super Show

April 12-15 in Indianapolis, IN

International Women’s Show

May 3-6 in Novi, MI

Updated Details on 60th Annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk

Highway, Ramp & Bridge Closures in Effect in the Straits of Mackinac Area
During 60th Annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk

Traffic Updates Available via Text from Mackinac Bridge Authority

As many as 60,000 people are expected to converge in the Straits of Mackinac Monday, September 4 to take part in the 60th Annual Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk. As a safety precaution, the Mackinac Bridge Authority will close the bridge to automobile traffic between 6:30 a.m. and noon that day—only authorized buses transporting walkers and emergency vehicles will be permitted on the bridge during that time.

This is the first year that the five-mile Mackinac Bridge itself will be closed to vehicles during the walk, which begins at sunrise at 7 a.m. in St. Ignace. Participants must board an official shuttle bus by 10 a.m. in order to complete the walk by noon.

Michigan State Police (MSP) are also planning some highway and ramp closures along Interstate 75 and US-2 to reduce traffic flow in the Straits area that morning.

MSP has contingency plans for traffic issues on Monday morning while the Mackinac Bridge is closed. Gaylord State Police Post Commander, 1st Lt. Mark Harris says that the process of directing traffic during the Bridge Walk is going to be an “ongoing, fluid situation.” Officials will strategize about how best to direct traffic throughout the day. “Obviously, the intent is to minimize motorists being stranded while the bridge is closed.” He has provided the following details to be shared with the public:

In preparation for the closure, 150 portable toilets will be placed every quarter mile along this stretch of US-2 which runs along the Lake Michigan shoreline. MBA will also offer water and snack stations for motorists waiting for the bridge to reopen.

Additionally, two MBA mechanics will be patrolling on both sides of the bridge to help anyone who might be having vehicle problems during the delay.

Text Alerts Available for Mackinac Bridge Annual Walk

With the assistance of Mackinac County 911/Emergency Management, you can sign up now for text updates during this year’s Labor Day Bridge Walk.

Mackinac County 911, using its RAVE Alert System, will send updates and information from the MBA to users’ cell phones now through Labor Day. Alerts will focus on event schedule reminders, traffic notifications, weather updates, and emergency notifications.​​

“With the changes taking place during this year’s walk, we’re trying to reach as many travelers and bridge walk participants as possible,” said Bob Sweeney, executive secretary of the MBA. “We really appreciate Mackinac County 911/Emergency Management’s willingness to make this system available for notifications on this event.”

There is no cost to receive these updates, aside from any texting fees from the participant’s mobile coverage plan. The system will automatically shut down on Sept. 5.

To opt in to this text alert system:​​

  1. Text “mackinacbridgewalk2017” to 67283
  2. Users will receive a reply “Welcome to the Mackinac Bridge Walk 2017 text alerting system,” verifying participation in the text alerting system for the event.
  3. Users can opt out by sending a reply “STOP mackinacbridgewalk2017” if they no longer wish to receive text messages/alerts. Messages will automatically stop on Sept. 5.

2017 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk Details:

For information about the history of the Mackinac Bridge (including some interesting facts and figures about its size and construction, check out the official website of the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

For lodging reservations for Labor Day weekend, or throughout the fall season, visit MackinawCity.com/stay/.

Photo sourced from Governor Rick Snyder’s Facebook page.