Celebrate Independence, Eat a Bratwurst

Photo by Madeline Johnson.

The Fourth of July – it’s the one weekend (well, besides Pumpkin Patch and Fall Fest in October) that everyone on the Peninsula gears up for. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a business owner, a visitor, or a Door County resident – you most likely know exactly what you’re doing this weekend. And hopefully, that “something” includes eating a few brats, seeing a parade (or two!) and catching the fireworks.

But in case you don’t quite know what your plans are yet, here are a few ideas for some things to do. The following is just the tip of the event iceberg, and I’d encourage you to check our “Events Calendar” at the back of this section or visit to see just how much the county has to offer for entertainment on this busy weekend. As always, times are subject to change.

The communities of Egg Harbor, Gills Rock, Sturgeon Bay, Baileys Harbor, Fish Creek, and Washington Island all have various 4th of July festivities, full of live music, parades, arts & craft fairs, and of course, plenty of food and fireworks. Times and locations of all of these activities can be found on the corresponding “4th of July Schedule.”

Live music abounds on the peninsula this weekend. Some of Friday’s gigs include local favorites Big Mouth at Sonny’s Pizzeria, The Peacocks at Sturgeon Bay’s Cherry Lanes, the Hagen Family Singers up at the Red Barn on Washington Island, Lost Mothra at the Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor, and ‘80s & ‘90s band Wavelength at the C&C in Fish Creek on both Friday and Saturday nights. The music continues on Saturday with the Mullet Hunters at the Sister Bay Bowl, Todd Carey at the Hitching Post in Valmy, the jazz sounds of the Jana Nyberg Trio at Gordon Lodge in Baileys Harbor, and Camp David’s only barn dance of the season with the reggae sounds of Unity. Again, this is just a small fraction of what’s going on, so please check our Events Calendar.

Many of the county’s performance venues are in full force this weekend as well. Egg Harbor’s Birch Creek Music Performance Center is wrapping up the last of its Symphony concerts this weekend, and Midsummer’s Music is wrapping up its performances this week until it returns with its Labor Day concerts in September. Peninsula Players, American Folklore Theatre, and the Island Players also have shows this weekend and extending into next week.

If you’re in the mood for something a bit more nature or history oriented, there’s no shortage of those activities, either. Many of the county’s parks and historical sites are offering programs, hikes, and tours that are a perfect way to spend a holiday weekend. And the busy holiday weekend doesn’t stop the many galleries in Door County, many of whom are having opening receptions and shows.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you a happy (and safe) Fourth of July weekend. Celebrate our nation’s independence – and your own – by eating an extra bratwurst and dancing to just one more Mullet Hunters song. After all, that’s what summer is all about, and there’s no better summer weekend than the Fourth of July.