Things to do in July: Fiesta, car shows, Fourth of July parties, and lighthouse tours

It’s July, and the month kicks off with celebrations up and down the lakeshore commemorating our nation’s independence. This month is full of activities that invite us to get outside and make the most of summer, from the LAUP Fiesta to car shows and concert series. Our list spotlights events being held in Allegan, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties, that provide options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

Experience classical Argentinian tango with the group QuinTango.

QuinTangoClassical Argentinian tango
J. Petter Galleries, 161 N. Blue Star Highway, Douglas
July 1, 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. 
Experience classical Argentinian tango with the group QuinTango. The quintet features top-notch female chamber musicians and their crackerjack bandoneon player. This is tango like you’ve never imagined it: classical chops, jazz harmonies, and intimate arrangements written for the group by outstanding composers in Buenos Aires.

South Pierhead Lighthouse Tour
1431 Beach St., Muskegon
July 1, 1-5 p.m. 
Cost: $3 for children, $5 for adults
Take a historical tour of Muskegon’s South Pierhead Lighthouse at Pere Marquette Beach. Climb to the top and learn the history of this functioning light. Enjoy the view and take photos. Tours are Monday, Friday and Saturdays, 1 – 5 pm. (Children must be 3 feet or taller to climb) Maps & souvenirs are available to purchase.

Annual Heykoop Veteran Car Show & Benefit
Hot Rod Harley Davidson,149 Shoreline Drive, Muskegon
July 2, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Cost: Free, and $15 entry for car show participants at the gate or $10 if pre-registered. 
Back for its sixth year, the Heykoop Veteran Memorial Car Show and Benefit seeks to raise awareness and funds to help fight veteran suicide. Event includes food trucks all day, 50/50s, raffles, silent and live auctions, and much more.

Milwaukee Clipper Fourth of July Party
2098 Lakeshore Drive, Muskegon
July 2, 7:30-10 p.m. 
Cost: Free for members, and $10 for non-members
The S. S. Milwaukee Clipper Preservation Inc. is hosting a Fourth of July party on the Milwaukee Clipper. Food will be sold. For $5 you can get a GNL hot dog, a bag of chips, and a soda. There will be a lot going on. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the event.

Muskegon Clippers Baseball VS. Sandusky Bay Ice Haulers 
Marsh Field, 1800 Peck St., Muskegon
July 2, 7-10:30 p.m.
Cost: $2-$5
Come on down and watch your Muskegon Clippers of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League take on the Sandusky Bay Ice Haulers at Historic Marsh Field! Stop by Marsh field for some fun, and to watch some of the best college baseball in the area! Players from all over the country come to Muskegon every summer for the chance to play with the Clippers!

Saugatuck/Douglas Fireworks
Over the Kalamazoo River
July 4, dusk
Since the fireworks will be shot over the Kalamazoo River, the best viewing is from one of the local parks: Cook Park, Coughlin Park, Wade’s Bayou, or Wick’s Park. To make it even easier, you can park and take a shuttle from Saugatuck High School on Elizabeth Street. When that lot is full, Saugatuck Christian Reformed Church on Old Allegan Road will be used for the shuttle.  Details: For more info on the shuttle, call the Interurban at 269-857-1418 or check out

2022 Holland Fireworks Celebration
Over Lake Macatawa
July 4, dusk
Watch the Independence Day celebration fireworks on Monday, July 4th over Lake Macatawa from Kollen Park. Beechwood Grill and various fair food will be available from noon - 10 p.m.  

Waterfront Concert series
Grand Haven waterfront, 1 North Harbor, Grand Haven
July 7 & 14
Cost: $60 & $65
Courtyard Concerts presents the 2022 Summer Sessions Waterfront Concert series. The July 7 concert features Phil Vassar and Jamie O’Neal (Tickets are $60) and the July 14 concert features Spin Doctors and Sister Hazel (Tickets are $65).
Details at and the Seven Steps Up Calendar

Show and Shine Car Show and Cruise
Corner of Main Avenue and Church Street, Zeeland 
July 8-9
Friday: 4 p.m. Zeeland Rotary chicken barbecue; 5-6 p.m. (Cruise begins at 6 p.m.)
Saturday: 8 a.m. registration ($10); 8:30-9 a.m. line up in downtown Zeeland; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Public show and judging for awards
View more than 200 classic cars, hotrods, low riders, and custom cars. Free admission for the public. Awards, including "people's choice" will be presented.

Summer Concert Series in the Backyard
Ridge Point Community Church's Backyard, 340 104th Ave., Holland
July 8: River City Improv and Dueling Pianos
July 20: Caleb and Kelsey
Cost: $5
Outdoor concert series in the Ridge Point amphitheater with food trucks and beverage tent. If inclement weather, concerts will move indoors. 
Details: or call 616-395-2600

Tales from the Archives: A History of Holland’s Fire Department

Tales from the Archives: A History of Holland’s Fire Department
Holland Museum Spark!Lab Smithsonian, 31 W 10th St., Holland
July 7, 7-8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free, donations encouraged. Registration required
Since 1847, Holland’s Fire Department has been protecting Holland’s people and their property. Learn more about the origins and development of the department, as well as stories of heroism and sacrifice with Bret Groendyke, current Holland Fire Marshal and Paul Den Uyl, author of The Holland Fire Department: The First Fifty Years, 1867-1916. 

The LAUP Fiesta is July 9 at the Holland Civic Center. (LAUP)

LAUP Fiesta
Holland Civic Center
July 9, noon to 11:30 p.m.
Cost: Free. Evening dance costs $10
For more than 40 years, the LAUP Fiesta has been an important celebration for the Holland area. This year, the event is being held in July instead of May but has returned to the Holland Civic Center. The annual Fiesta is full of fun for the whole family. With live music and performances, delicious food, dancing, and more, this gathering is a true celebration of the region's rich Latino culture. 

Chinook Pier Market by Merchants and Makers
July 9, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 
Chinook Pier, 301 N. Harbor Dr., Grand Haven
Come to downtown Grand Haven and shop with more than 70 local makers along the beautiful riverfront. Righteous Cusine, Beecher's Pretzels, Voyage Bowls, Stud Muffin's Cupcakes trucks will be there with tacos, nachos, soft pretzels, smoothies, coffee, cupcakes and more.
Details: and

Beer on the Boat
Downtown Saugatuck
July 16, 4 p.m. 
Cost: $60. No discount for non-drinkers. 
Take a 90-minute cruise on the Star of Saugatuck while a rep from Waypost Brewing Co provides samples and information on a selection of their brews. 
The event is restricted to those who are 21 years and older.  Valid ID required.  No discount for non-drinkers.   Details:

Gardens of Enchantment
DeGraaf Nature Center, 600 Graafschap Road, Holland 
Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 
Cost: $20 
Explore ten gardens in Holland’s South Shore Area as part of this annual event hosted by the Holland Garden Club. Tickets can be purchased for cash or check only at VanWieren Hardware, Jonker’s Garden, Holland Visitors Bureau; at DeGraaf Nature Center on July 16 only. Garden Art will be available for purchase at selected sites.

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social
Cappon House, 228 W. 9th St., Holland
Saturday, July 16, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Free 
The Cappon House and Hudsonville Ice Cream are hosting an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social! The event will include lawn games and art activities,  a tour of the Cappon House, and of course and lots of ice cream! Fun for the whole family.

Lake Michigan RTS 10K
Saturday, July 16, 8 a.m. 
Start/Finish: Intersection of 142nd Ave and 66th St. in Laketown Twp./Holland
Cost: $55 per participant
Gazelle Sports’ demanding but beloved Road-Trail-Sand race, a more than 20-year tradition, is back again, with all proceeds benefitting P.O.R.T. (Pediatric Oncology Resource Team) through the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation.  Dubbed, “the toughest race you’ll ever love,” the Lake Michigan RTS is a uniquely challenging 10K race along the Lake Michigan shoreline, incorporating rural roads, wooded trails and a sand dune climb.

Great Fennville train robbery of 1895
Pump House Museum and Learning Center, 2282 Ottawa Beach Road. 
July 21, Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Programs start at 7 p.m.
Paul Trap is a professor and historian who lives in downtown Holland. Paul’s presentation will focus on the largest train robbery in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula which took place in 1895 near Fennville. The whole carefully researched story of the robbery, pursuit, and investigation. Find out what happened to the Loot!!

Muskegon Astronomical Society Star Party
North Muskegon State Park, 611-685 South Scenic Drive, Muskegon
July 23, 9-11:30 p.m. 
Cost: Free, but donations are greatly appreciated
The Muskegon Astronomical Society is hosting a Star Party to view the night sky with telescopes. The event is designed to introduce people to amateur astronomy. There will be plenty of handouts on how to get started. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own telescopes. All visitors are welcomed, but attendees are asked to wear a mask and respect social distance. If the sky is cloudy, the event will be canceled. 

Community Picnic
Thursday, July 21, 11 a.m - 7 p.m. 
Lawrence Street Park, 100 W. Lawrence Ave.  Zeeland.
Cost: Tickets are $13 for adults and $6 for kids
Zeeland Fire Rescue is hosting its 30th annual "Pig Out" fundraiser  to help cover the cost of community education programs. The event includes all-you-can-eat roasted pig, as well as games and live music from The Niche.

Cabaret: Song Diaries
Saugutuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St
Friday, July 22, 7:30 p.m. 
Cost: $65
Mason Street Warehouse alumni Tony DeSare brings his popular “Song Diaries” to the SCA for one night only! Inspired by his expansive catalog of Sinatra standards, pop favorites, piano blockbusters and heartfelt originals, this new solo show will take you on a sweeping musical journey. 

Movie night
Watch film classics on the historic ship, the Milwaukee Clipper. The group S. S. Milwaukee Clipper Preservation Inc. is showing two “Laurel & Hardy” films.
Milwaukee Clipper, 2098 Lakeshore Dr, Muskegon
Friday, July 27, 7:30- 9 p.m.
Cost: $10, free for members

Garden Walk & Plant Sale
Saugatuck Douglas History Center, 130 W Center St Douglas
Saturday, July 23, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Tour spectacular private gardens, with an opportunity to purchase perennial plants from the Saugatuck-Douglas Garden Club’s member gardens for your own garden. All proceeds support scholarships for Saugatuck and Fennville High School seniors.

Ottawa County Fair
Ottawa Fairgrounds, 1286 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland
Monday-Saturday, July 25-30 (Gates open daily at 11 a.m. and Monday at 5 p.m. Rides begin at 1 p.m. starting Tuesday)
Cost: $5, Kids 12 & under are free. BOGO on Monday, and $10 a carload on Tuesday. 
The Ottawa County Fair is back with lots of events including Unique Motorsports Night of Destruction, West Michigan Pullers and the Monster Truck Shootout.

Coast Guard Festival 
Grand Haven
July 29 - Aug. 7
Cost: Free
Hosting a nationally recognized festival that honors and respects the men and women of the United States Coast Guard. Hosting a festival that provides family friendly activities. Focusing year round on the men and women of the United States Coast Guard serving in the West Michigan area. Building relationships with Coast Guard leadership that fosters the theme of “Grand Haven – Coast Guard City, USA.” Celebrating the history of the United States Coast Guard.

Need suggestions for specific destinations or activities, check out these tourism resources for details:
Holland Area Visitors Bureau
Grand Haven CVB
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation
Saugatuck CVB
Allegan County Parks & Recreation

Read more articles by Sally Laukitis.