Grand Haven festival – Coast Guard Festival
The festival unofficially began in 1924 as a Coast Guard personnel only picnic when the local Coast Guard station held rowing competitions for those service members stationed in Grand Haven. Today the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival has become a premier event with attendance of over 350,000 people including the nations highest ranking Coast Guard dignitaries from Washington, D.C.
Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival dates
July 25 to August 3, 2014
Coast Guard Station Grand Haven is manned by approximately 31 active duty and 10 reserve members. It is home to two 47’ motor lifeboats (one of which is District’s maintenance relief hull), one 25’ response boat small and a 15’ ice/shallow water response skiff. Along with the primary missions of search and rescue and maritime law enforcement Station Grand Haven is designated as a heavy weather station and an ice rescue capable unit. The station is located on the Grand River in Grand Haven Michigan which is has been distinguished as “Coast Guard City USA”. Unit personnel and resources are highly involved in the planning and execution of operations during the annual Coast Guard Festival, a week long event that brings tens of thousands of visitors to this small city. During the summer months personnel from Station Grand Haven augment the crew of Station Holland located 20 miles south of Grand Haven on Lake Macatawa.
The focus of the annual Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival is the National Coast Guard Memorial Service honoring those who sacrificed their lives in the service of their country while fulfilling their motto “SEMPER PARATUS” (“Always Ready”). Each year since the first picnic in 1924 and the first festival in 1937, we have celebrated our heroes, the men and women of the United States Coast Guard with fun filled family events at the annual Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival. Grand Haven is honored by its designation as “Coast Guard City, USA” by an Act of Congress and signed by the President of the United States on November 13, 1998.
Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival hosts an abundance of family friendly activities. We invite you and your family and friends to join our community tradition of celebrating the U.S, Coast Guard. There’s no other festival like ours and we guarantee fun for all ages. For the last 90 years we have had the privilege of hosting visitors and dignitaries from around the world who come here to enjoy our festivities, the natural beauty of our beach town and the hospitality of our community.
Successfully honoring the men and women of the United States Coast Guard at this annual event would not be possible without the cooperation of the United States Coast Guard, the local municipalities of Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Ferrysburg, hundreds of dedicated volunteers and our generous corporate sponsors.
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