By Kendra Hennis
A weekend typically filled with fun, fireworks, and fair food looked a little different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the governor’s order limiting groups of people. The Tuscola City Council unanimously voted to cancel the Sparks in the Park celebrations during their May 11 meeting, noting their fears of limiting capacity and traffic control in the midst of the pandemic.
However, the city wanted to still hold some kind of celebratory event for the community while also allowing them to safely social-distance, creating virtual Sparks in the Park. Events over the holiday weekend included a virtual firecracker 5K run/walk, a virtual scavenger hunt, virtual bingo, and a downtown walking tour. Online events were hosted by 2020 Miss Tuscola royals Avery Cleland, Kate Foltz and Kali Pierce.
For the scavenger hunt, participants were encouraged to grab their clue card to solve the riddles and spot the “stars” at each of the locations. Some locations included the police department, basketball courts, and the downtown clock. The Tuscola Public Library invited the players of virtual bingo to join into their Facebook Live on July 7. The firecracker 5K, hosted by Alpha & Omega PowerTraining, continues through July 11, is open to seasoned runners or those just looking for some outdoor activity. The goal of the race is to run, walk or roll 3.1 miles while mapping your route and completing the race before July 11. Runners, make sure to post your results on the Virtual Sparks in the Park Facebook Event page.
The Downtown Historic Walking Tour was made possible with the Douglas County Museum’s help. The museum created a booklet filled with the city’s downtown architecture for those to enjoy and learn more about Tuscola’s history. Booklets are $5 and can be purchased at the Douglas County Museum as well as Flesor’s Candy Kitchen. All proceeds go to the Douglas County Museum.