Fourth of July Weekend has arrived! Of course, the Fourth of July in 2020 is going to be a bit different than Fourth of Julys past.

Of course, we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and the North Shore, especially Cook County, is continue strong efforts to keep COVID-19 at bay. With only one confirmed case, the area has not experienced the influx of cases, and would like to keep it that way. It can get hard to maintain social distancing amongst crowd of visitors in popular areas, so here are a few tips and tricks we have for you heading into the holiday weekend.

Pack Your Masks

While not mandated in the State of Minnesota at the time of this writing, most businesses are now requiring face masks be worn while inside their business. If you get up here and realize you forgot to pack your mask, ask around! Most stores are selling them or even giving them away for free.

Be Aware of Your Surrounding (Stay One Moose Apart)

This isn’t actually a new recommendation from us. On the North Shore, you never know what you’re going to encounter when out and about. A bear? Maybe! A moose? Possibly! But this year we are adding other people to the list. Just be aware of how close you are to another group and try to stay six feet away. Or, as we say on the North Shore, stay one moose apart! An adult moose averages about 8-10 feet in length. If you see Murray Moose out and about this weekend, just know he’s a bit smaller than your average moose!

Avoid Busy Areas

Most lodging and resort providers are reporting 100% capacity this weekend. Cascade Vacation Rentals is also at 100% capacity. That is a lot of people! Luckily, Cook and Lake Counties are quite large and have many places you can go to visit. If you want to avoid the crowds, check out some of the lesser known places to visit. Gooseberry Falls is our most popular state park and will likely be packed, but the George H. Crosby Manitou State Park near Finland is the least visited state park in the area, and a good bet for a nice, quiet picnic. Trails found outside of state parks also tend to have fewer visitors than the state park trail systems do.

And now, a few quick, VERY IMPORTANT updates that you need to be aware of this weekend!

Fire Danger Is Very High

June and early July brought little rain and record temps to the North Shore. This has caused our fire danger to be incredibly high. So high that there is a fire ban currently in place in the BWCA and Superior National Forest. If your rental is located on the Gunflint Trail, you should not have an outdoor fire or use a charcoal grill this weekend. That area is most at risk for a catastrophic fire right now.

But, other areas even along the shore of Lake Superior are in high fire danger zones. For this reason, we suggest all visitors plan to forgo the nighttime fire and plan an alternative activity. The use of charcoal grills is also dangerous at this time. Even something as innocent seeming as sparklers can spark a massive fire in these conditions.

Private Fireworks Are Not Allowed

Speaking of sparklers, we want to remind all of our guests that fireworks are never allowed to be fired off from Cascade Vacation Rentals’ properties. Doing so could carry a high fine from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. Guests will also be asked to vacate their rentals immediately, without a refund.

Please, just don’t do it. Leave the fireworks and sparklers at home and enjoy the other wonderful things you can see and do on the North Shore this Fourth of July.

If you feel the Fourth of July just isn’t the same without fireworks, don’t worry! Some communities are still planning their Fourth of July fireworks displays.

Where to See Fireworks on the North Shore

Many communities have decided to postpone their typical Fourth of July fireworks displays, but three have decided to keep them, as scheduled. Social distancing (i.e. enjoying the fireworks from a private location or being aware of your proximity to others when in public) is strongly encouraged. If you feel you can do this, you can enjoy the fireworks at the following communities:

Grand Marais: 10 PM on the Grand Marais Harbor

Silver Bay: 9:30 PM in the Downtown Area

Update: Earlier we listed that Superior, Wisconsin would be holding their fireworks that may be seen from Duluth. At about 4:30 PM on July 3 is was announced that the fireworks were canceled. Silver Bay and Grand Marais are now the only two communities who are still holding fireworks displays. We will update here if anything changes.

All other fireworks displays in the area have been canceled or postponed.

Be smart, be safe, have fun! And, please, pick up your trash! Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints. Thank you!