The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

 
 

Iron County celebrates storied history

 

Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

A FLOAT from the Bear Trap in Saxon, Wis., pays homage to Iron County “characters,” including miners, loggers, homemakers, gangsters and call girls, during the annual Iron County Heritage Parade in downtown Hurley, Saturday. The other side of the float included a homemaker, logger and miner

HURLEY — Rainy and below-average temperatures didn’t keep people from attending the annual Iron County Heritage parade in downtown Hurley Saturday.

Locals and visitors lined Silver Street and floats, vehicles and animals made their way down the street in honor of Iron County.

Rain drizzled throughout the parade, but according to emcee Steve Schurtter, of Montreal, Wis ., it wasn’t anything that people couldn’t handle.

“These are north country people,” Schurtter said. “They can handle a little rain.”

The parade started with the color guard presenting the flags and Ironwood resident Bob Cannon performing the national anthem. Following close by was a fleet of fire trucks from all across the county, and parade marshals Joe and Dorothy Walesewicz.

Many local groups, businesses and organizations created floats for the parade. Tractors chugged up the street, while classic cars revved engines to show power.

Some popular floats included an entry from the Bear Trap in Saxon, Wis. The float paid homage to the heritage of the area and featured miners, loggers, fur traders, call girls, homemakers, moonshiners and gangsters.

Alumni from the Hurley School District grabbed their band instruments and performed a variety of songs while marching, including the Hurley School Song, “On Wisconsin” and dance tunes.

A float from Gogebic Taconite received applause from many parade watchers, and included area children walking with mining equipment while carrying a banner that said “Jobs for the Next Generation.”

Schurtter was impressed with the floats.

“For those who have never made a float, they don’t know what hard work is,” Schurtter said. “It takes time, energy and creative thoughts to make one. Everyone did a great job.”

The parade was so popular, it actually came back down Silver Street a second time, so people could get another glimpse at their favorite float.

For more information on the Iron County Heritage Festival, call the Hurley Chamber of Commerce at 715-561-4334, or the Mercer Chamber of Commerce at 715-476-2389.