Storms moving in Tuesday evening

West Michigan communities celebrate the Fourth of July

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SAUGATUCK, Mich. -- We are all fans of our big-city Fourth of July celebrations, but sometimes the absolute best festivities can be found in the smallest towns.

The party has been going on across West Michigan all day, including in the communities of Dorr and Saugatuck.

People at the Dorr parade say their parade is the biggest. People in Saugatuck say their parade is the best. But one thing is for sure: it really doesn't matter whose parade is bigger or better. There's just nothing like celebrating the 4th in a small town.

“We’ve determined that we are experts on everything, as you can see here by our signs,” Saugatuck resident Ron Wilkins said.

Ron Wilkins is somewhat of an expert on Saugatuck's parade.

“35 parades now. 35 parades in Saugatuck,” Wilkins said.

The self-proclaimed "know it all" says nothing compares.

“This parade is number one in my book. I’ve been in every state except the state of Maine,” Wilkins said.

While Ron may say his parade is the best, across Allegan County, Joe Shaffer's addition to the Dorr parade may be the heaviest in county history.

“We’ve had over 30 guesses so far. It’s early. We’ve had guesses from as little as 200 pounds… to 10-11 thousand pounds,” Joe Shaffer, Shaffer Tree Services said.

Why weigh a log? Shaffer says why not. When you're the only tree company in a town of less than 10,000 people, you give back in whatever way you can.

At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter who's parade is bigger, or better.

"You’ll love this parade. This is home town America,” Wilkins said.

Fireworks in Dorr start at around 10:20 p.m., and in Saugatuck, they start around 9:45. For a full list of local fireworks, click here. 

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