By Sue Moore
The population of Schoolcraft multiplies by thousands for the annual 4th of July parade that snakes over Eliza, U.S. 131 and Clay beginning at 11 a.m. It runs until about noon with over 75 parade entries.
The grand marshal for the parade will be River Fox, who just graduated from Schoolcraft High School. The village will celebrate his accomplishments as he won the state championship for heavyweight wrestlers at 285 lbs. His record for his senior season was 50-2 and he was ranked number one in the state in Division 4. He was also a key anchor on the varsity football team, playing both defensive tackle and offensive lineman. He was a four-year starter on the varsity track team in discus and shotput in which he qualified for the state tournament.
The fireworks display brings the day’s events to a thrilling close at 10 p.m. near the high school on the north side. The cost of the pyrotechnics has increased this year from $7,000 to $10,000, because prices have increased on Chinese exports, according to Virginia Mongreig, event coordinator for many years. Her husband, Chip, has been a mainstay of the show. He has recruited Randey and Rod Palmer the last five years. They get an assist from Fred Western who has the fireworks show programmed and ready to go. Money for the display comes from community donations and individuals that Jon Krum oversees.
Deb Reynolds is chairing the parade for the 17th year. She has become a master at keeping it all under control and ready to roll at exactly the moment the gun goes off. She has tried to bow out for the last several years but nobody has stepped up to undertake the job so she just keeps moving ahead with an assist from Kalamazoo County State Bank, where she is a collections officer.
These volunteers are looking for help from younger members of the community. They are hoping that new blood will be found to take their place in the year 2020.