The AuSable River Festival Parade committee – a Grayling Main Street event – is excited to announce a new parade route and timing for 2020! 

In cooperation with City leadership, Festival, and Marathon management, the committee explored fixing longstanding safety and logistics concerns with the previous parade route. A new route that we believe will provide a safer and better participant and spectator experience was approved by all parties in January.

The new parade route takes advantage of the I-75 Business Loop (BL) bridge closure authorized by MDOT to safeguard spectators at the start of the Marathon. The parade will lineup at 4pm on Chestnut Street, which will be closed to thru traffic for the safety of participants. At 5pm the parade will begin on Ogemaw Street and proceed to the Business Loop. Once on the BL, the parade will proceed south through the heart of the Festival, across the AuSable River, ending at Charles Street.

Residential areas of the parade route are designated “quiet zones” to respect our neighbors and accommodate spectators with noise sensitivities. Participants will be asked to refrain from creating loud noise within these areas.

With the new route: access to the hospital will not be impeded; far fewer resources will be needed to support street closures; line-up will be on closed streets; the parade will actually cross the AuSable River; and, festival goers can remain within the Michigan Avenue and City Park festival areas. That’s a lot of winning!

These changes are being announced five months in advance to give ample notice to residents, parade participants, and spectators. Although we know we cannot please everyone, we ask for your support and patients in the two hours of the year that this event positively impacts our community. Stay tuned for more details and an application to participate!

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