Pioneer Days bring exciting activities

NEGAUNEE — The Fourth of July may be over, but one city in Marquette County is keeping the festivities going with a traditional week of celebration.

Negaunee’s Pioneer Days officially began Sunday and will run through this coming Saturday. The annual celebration features a number of events around town.

Monday morning began with the first of a week–long series of continental breakfasts at the Negaunee Senior Center. Across town at the high school, competitors in the Pioneer Princess Pageant got in some quality rehearsal time for Thursday evening’s big show.

“They are learning so quickly and they are doing so well,” said Eliisa Gladwell, a choreographer and master of ceremonies for the pageant. “It really is something that you can tell that they enjoy. We have a question on their biography, ‘what is your favorite part of Pioneer Weeks,’ and more than one of them has said the pageant’s their favorite part of the week.”

Volunteers lend their time to help the Negaunee Irontown Association get the pageant and other events off the ground. Pioneer Days activities are special both to those who are still in the area and those who come back to pay the town a visit.

“I grew up in Negaunee. I graduated from Negaunee High School. I have family up here. I come up every year for Pioneer Days. They took me out of the U.P. but they didn’t take the U.P. out of me,” said Ken Jennings, who is visiting again for Pioneer Days this year.

“Pioneer Days is my favorite week of the entire year. It’s incredible to see all of the community come out and support one another and do all these fun things with each other,” Gladwell added.

From alumni softball to wine tasting to Saturday’s fireworks display, Pioneer Days offer a little something for everyone. Click here for a complete list of the festivities happening this week.