Presque Isle celebrates Independence day with several events

2 weeks ago

More than a thousand people turned out to mark the Fourth of July in Presque Isle with fireworks, a patriotic remembrance and a community celebration.

Cars and people packed Main Street and the Riverside Park area Wednesday night for a colorful fireworks show. Hundreds of spectators gathered closer to get the best view of the 25-minute display, which ended with applause and car horns blowing. 

The James School, a historic restored one-room schoolhouse, welcomed more than 40 people Thursday for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence. After the flag was hoisted outside, City Manager Tyler Brown read the document and the names of the signers. 

Organizers said they hoped the reading stirred appreciation for the nation’s founding. One spectator said it was the largest crowd the event had ever drawn.

Festivities continued with the Presque Isle Elks Lodges’s annual community hot dog cookout, car show and live music at Riverside Park.

At the grill, lodge secretary Dana Dickinson estimated the crew of 24 Elks had served up to 1,100 people by early afternoon, and they planned to keep grilling until the hot dogs ran out.

Presque Isle Elks Lodge Secretary Dana Dickinson (left) grills hot dogs at the Elks’ free hot dog cookout on July 4. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

The free gathering is a gift to the community, Dickinson said.

“The Elks credo is [to] believe in God and believe in your country. We want everybody to be able to celebrate that,” he said.

People strolled around the park enjoying the hot dogs, watching the children’s games and listening to the music of Wendell Hudson and the Soggy-Bottom Boyz under the gazebo. 

A variety of cars and trucks lined Riverside Drive for the traditional auto show, where several prizes were awarded.

Best in Show was a 1955 Fort Thunderbird, owned by Robert Patch. 

Jule Tuller won the People’s Choice Award with her 1980 Fort F-100 pickup.

Bill Fitzherbert of Washburn earned a first-place trophy for his 1951 Chevy Deluxe in the older-than-1959 category during the Elks’ July 4 car show in Presque Isle. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

Bill Fitzherbert of Washburn placed first in the Antique to 959 class with his 1951 Chevy Deluxe.

A 1968 Pontiac GTO owned by Randy Trask won the Muscle Car category.

The 1960s award went to Alan Trombley with his 1966 Pontiac GTO.

Rick Guerrette took first place in the 1970s category with his 1970 MG.

Micha Butler won in the 1980s group with his 1987 GMC K-1500.

Brandon Doughty of Mapleton took first place in the tuner class with his 2024 Dodge Neon SRT4.

Brandon Doughty of Mapleton won first place in the tuner class with this Dodge during the Elks Lodge’s annual July 4 car show in Presque Isle. (Paula Brewer | The Star-Herald)

The full list of winners was not immediately available.