Celebrating the Fourth of July on the Water at Madeline Island, Wisconsin

An afternoon under sail brings us to the small town of La Pointe. Each year La Pointe is the focus of the island’s Fourth of July celebration, which begins with a parade in the morning and ends with fireworks that evening.Although there is also a fireworks show at Bayfield, the Madeline Island display is popular with the boating crowd, who anchor out in the bay to watch the show. We plan to be among them. This is our second year here, but last year’s unpredictable weather and incompetent anchoring by a neighboring sailboat drove us out before the show began. Today’s calm weather and our early arrival bodes well for this year.

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People (or at least their boats) are just beginning to settle in when we arrive, although motor boats – many towing inner tubes and water skiers – are still zipping between those already at anchor. As the afternoon wears on, a steady stream of boats of all sizes and types glide out of the marina in search of a spot on the water.

It’s a lovely spot to sit and watch the activity as the sun sets.

As night deepens, the water becomes satin in the still, warm air. It is a perfect night for fireworks.

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