Kalkaska Sheriff, Locals Prepare For Busy Weekend On Torch Lake

The same DJ hosting the Higgins Lake party was sued and can no longer come and throw a party on Torch Lake after a sandbar bash he promoted two years ago left trash in the water, and had partiers trespassing on people’s property.

9&10’s Megan Woods was on Torch Lake Friday to find out party expectations for this year.

The Kalkaska Sheriff’s Office says by Monday there could be up to 950 boats on the water.

“Chaos that’s the first thing that comes to mind,” says Greg Payne who lives along Torch Lake and is the chair for Torch Lake Protection Alliance.

People from all over the state, country even Canada come to Torch Lake for the sandbar.

Breana Luther from downstate says, “We don’t have that anywhere at the lakes back home. At home you just sit on the boat and try to interact with people it’s just fun to just walk around.

Two years ago it got out of hand with an advertised party on the lake.

Greg Payne says, “People walk out across people’s lawns and when they were coming back and they walk on people’s decks this is a residential area again this is not a resort town.”

Thanks to a lawsuit and more law enforcement presence, last year was much better.

Payne and Kalkaska Sheriff Patrick Whiteford hope it stays that way this holiday weekend.

“The crowd in general was much more focused on just having a good time and not taking it to the edge. The law enforcement agreed that they will be planning to be here at the same level of force that they had last year,” says Payne.

Sheriff Whiteford says, it’s not about taking away fun, but being safe. “We’re doing some increased flagging this year. Last year we did some flagging at just the primary access where foot traffic can get on and off the water we’re actually flagging out on the sand bar for again safety purposes.”

Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office, along with Antrim County Sheriff’s Office, DNR and Michigan State Police will be out on the water will be patrolling on Torch Lake throughout Fourth of July on Tuesday.

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