Thousands flock to Grand Haven for Coast Guard Festival

In celebration of the United States Coast Guard service members, Grand Haven hosted its annual Coast Guard Festival from July 29 to August 7.

This festival began in 1924 when the local Coast Guard held rowing competitions for the service members stationed in Grand Haven. It has grown to become one of the most popular festivals in Michigan with over 350,000 people visiting during the week, earning Grand Haven the nickname Coast Guard City, USA.

Festival attendees enjoy the Fireball carnival.

Activities for everyone

Grand Haven’s 10-day celebration included attractions such as ship tours, fireworks, parades, car shows, craft shows, and a carnival complete with popular rides like the Fireball.

The City of Ferrysburg parade float supports the Coast Guard.

The Waterfront Stadium and boardwalk hosted a variety of musical entertainment, including the Eagles tribute band Hotel California and Chicago tribute band Brass Transit. The Waterfront Stadium also was the site of events such as the cardboard boat race and the Ultimate Air Dogs dog show.

Festival goers browse through the craft show.

Another crowd-pleasing attraction was the craft show in Central Park. Hundreds of vendors set up their booths throughout the park for festival goers to browse and find unique, handmade products. Everything from artwork and sculptures to homemade soaps and clothing could be found here.

The Ferrysburg Fire Department truck drives in the Grand Parade.

However, the largest event of Grand Haven’s annual celebration was the Grand Parade.

Thousands of people lined the streets to get a glimpse of parade participants, who included local businesses, high school bands, the local fire department, and of course the many Grand Haven Coast Guard floats.

Did you enjoy the festival? Are you looking for more local entertainment to enjoy this summer?

Check out these August events that will have you wishing for summer to never end.

Read more articles by Brittany Meyers.