Copper Harbor celebrates Fourth

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette A group of ATVs cruise through the Copper Harbor Fourth of July parade Thursday.
Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The grand marshall’s vehicle and a number of fire trucks lead the Copper Harbor Fourth of July parade on Thursday.

Large numbers braved intense summer heat Thursday to help Copper Harbor and Grant Township celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, which began with a parade along Gratiot Street. An antique pickup truck, followed by fire trucks from the Copper Harbor and Lac La Belle fire departments led the way, with a Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Department vehicle joining the line-up. The afternoon was time for kids’ games, including a tug-of-war.

Temperatures in the upper-80s did nothing to dissuade people from enjoying the day, including visiting Fort Wilkins, with time for visits to local beaches. Fireworks capped off the day’s events.

Cheryl Ochodnicky had another reason to celebrate the holiday. After the parade, she opened her new business, the Keweenaw Agate Shop, located on Gratiot Street. There is something more special for Ochodnicky in opening the Agate Shop. Back in the 1950s, the store was owned and operated by her grandparents, Violet and Eino Miller, who operated it until 1973, when she sold it to whom everyone remembers as “Doc Berry.”

Jeff and Kathy Ihde, of Dragonfly Dream Designs, and Jeff’s Junque, helped Ochodnicky at the store, where Jeff was handing out free bottles of water stashed on ice to customers.

“We’re giving people water,” Jeff Ihde said, “just to help alleviate the heat.