IRON MOUNTAIN - "Proud to be an American" is the theme of this year's Americans for Constitutional Enforcement's annual Independence Day parade on Friday, July 4, announced ACE President Lee Guizzetti.
"We are once again looking forward to sponsoring and putting on the special event honoring our nation's heritage and all those who preserve and protect our Constitution." Guizzetti said. "This gives everyone in the area to participate in a great and fun activity."
A.C.E. took over the sponsorship and running the event for the past 12 years after the American Legion decided to give it up back in 2002.
This year, like in previous years, a parade participant application is required in order to be in the event. Applications can be picked up and returned to any Iron Mountain or Kingsford branch or main office of the First National Bank & Trust Co. or going on line at the ACE web site at www.A4CE.org.
"To enhance spectator viewing, we are asking that the community will stick to the parade theme as much as possible," Guizzetti said.
V.I.P. passes are once again available and the filing fee must be paid with the submission of the application.
This pass provides recognition of individuals, groups and organizations and are assigned special placement in the V.I.P. section at the front of the parade.
There are several major changes required by ACE insurance carriers and the two cities. Throwing of any objects or squirting of liquids from mobile units or walkers are now prohibited and items may only be distributed by walkers along the curb.
"The last thing that we want is for a child to be hurt running out in front of moving units," parade organizers said.
Owners of horses and non-licensed motorized units such as bikes, go-karts, scooters, RV's and the like must provide proof of liability insurance to enter.
"We want this to be a safe, fun and enjoyable event," Guizzetti said.
ACE was organized in 1998 in Iron Mountain as a non-partisan educational group whose purpose is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.
"Although all of our political and elected officials take an oath of support of the Constitution, few of them know much about its history, or the individual protections and restrictions that it grants to our citizens," said Guizzetti.
"The parade is a major undertaking for ACE and we would welcome individuals or groups to step in and help us this year," reported Joe Testolin, parade chairman.
"It won't take a lot of your time, but we are in real need of some help," he said.
A special children's section for decorated bikes, trikes, scooters, buggies and strollers and group and individual walkers will again be available behind the V.I.P. section.
Lineup will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Pyle Drive and all units must be in place no later than 8:30 a.m. with the kick-off at 9 a.m.
In addition to the Independence Day parade, A.C.E. puts on a monthly meeting for its members and the general public featuring interesting and informative topics.
The June meeting will feature Dickinson County Sheriff Scott Celello, with State Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, doing the July presentation.
August will feature author Karl Bohnak of Marquette, who has done extensive research refuting the global warming theory. All programs are held at the Recreation Lanes on the third Tuesday of each month, with the special exception of Bohnak, who will be speaking on Saturday, Aug. 16.
For more information about the parade or joining ACE, contact chairman Joe Testolin at (906) 282-9200, vice-chair Diane Nichols at 774-3310 or President Guizzetti at (906) 204-4470.