COOK COUNTY – TRAVEL – If you didn’t get your fill of fireworks on Canada Day, you can head south to Cook County and take in the 4th of July celebrations. Celebrate the 4th of July away from the bustle of the city in the small towns of Tofte, Grand Marais, and Grand Portage. There’s something for everyone, kicking off with a 10k wilderness trail run, The Tofte Trek.
Stay for the day in Tofte to enjoy their annual Fourth of July festivities, including food vendors, arts and crafts for sale, a beer garden, and a parade. Then travel down the shore to Grand Marias and enjoy the family-friendly kids’ band, The Bazillions, playing in Harbor Park before the fireworks. All three communities of Tofte, Grand Marais, and Grand Portage have spectacular fireworks displays at 10 p.m., under the stars, over Lake Superior.
The Tofte Trek is a local favorite, notorious for being a very muddy start to your Fourth of July celebration. It has been held for 39 years and offers awards for the top male and female in each division of runners and walkers. The event takes place at the Birch Grove Community Center, 9 Good Neighbor Hill Road, Tofte, Minn. 55615.
After the trek, Tofte continues the celebration “downtown”. Enjoy live music, a bite to eat and cold beer while listening to live music or watching the parade. After the parade, the much anticipated “Tofte Citizen of the Year” will be announced. “Come join in an all-day Fourth of July party,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “Locals and visitors alike will enjoy a small town Fourth of July.”
It’s a grand Fourth of July in Grand Marais and Grand Portage.
Just 20 minutes away, Grand Maris is celebrating with kids’ band, The Bazillions, playing from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. in Harbor Park. Visitors can hang out with their families before the fireworks, get a cup of coffee, and set up camp on the beach and enjoy fireworks framed by the picturesque harbor – lighthouse, sailboats and stars included. Lucky visitors can watch the fireworks from the water on a boat, kayak, paddleboard, or canoe and get a peep at Tofte’s fireworks show in the distance.
At dusk, visitors also can head further north to Grand Portage, which has a huge fireworks display over the Grand Portage Lodge & Casino.