Outlook for Coast Guard Festival 2012
Birds are singing, it’s 70º, and the sun is shining. It couldn’t be a more perfect day for the kick off to Coast Guard Festival 2012! It looks like it will be sunny all day, and not dropping into the 60s until 10 p.m. Hundreds of runners pushing that last mile in the 10k bursting through the finish line, the Tot-Trot is booming and the bounce house is overflowing. It looks like everyone is having a great time. Except, perhaps, that girl who just dropped her ice cream cone.
The Kids Parade was a success as well this morning. Music and laughter filled the air. The Red Carpet Photos are busy as kids are lining up to get their pictures taken. It goes until 2:00 today so head down! Those of you who were lucky enough to be the first 750 into the free hotdog lunch from Lake Trust Credit Union…I envy you. Playing Out Loud is currently performing at the Waterfront Stadium. If you hurry, maybe you could catch a few acts. I hear a ton of applause and laughter, so it has to be good right? Don’t forget about Hometown Idol tonight at 7:30! The Waterfront Stadium will be booming with music and applause.
Tomorrow looks to be just as nice, but maybe a bit hotter with highs reaching the low 80s. Not much of a breeze can be expected either, but zero rain! We’ll start it off with the Cruise In Car Show on Downtown Washington St. at 7:30 a.m. Show up anytime before 3 to check out some of the coolest, oldest, and most unique cars around. Shortly after, the Coast Guard Festival Bicycle Tour begins at 8:00 with a 100 mile ride. Shorter rides begin at 9:30. Watch out for the bikers as you’re out finding a place to park. From 1:00-4:00, check out Coast Guard Park in Ferrysburg for the Community Picnic. There will be food, games, and music to keep everyone having a great time. Later, Worship on the Waterfront will be down at the Waterfront Stadium.
Monday looks great. Just as warm as Sunday, but with a little more cloud cover. Great day to welcome in the Coast Guard ships into Grand Haven Harbor. They’re expected to arrive around 1:00 p.m. with free tours from 6:00-8:00. Bring the family and check out these humungous vessels from top to bottom. Also, don’t miss Annabelle Road playing their mix of country and rock at Waterfront Stadium. Show starts at 7:30, tickets are $10.
Tuesday could be a little iffy due to a 30% chance of light, scattered showers. Nice and warm during the day however! Looks to be my favorite day! Starts out with Kids Day at the Tri-Cities YMCA at 10:00 a.m. Loads of games, entertainment, even a tractor race! Everything is free except for the food which is at nominal prices. Bring a bag of quarters! More ship tours from 6:00-8:00. Carnival will be set up and running strong starting at 6:00 as well. Scary big rides to tiny train size, all ages welcome and sure to have a blast. Grand City Skiers perform at Waterfront Stadium at 7:00 p.m. and you won’t want to miss it! Tickets are $5, but the show is worth so much more. Last, but certainly not least is the Street Dance! One of my favorite events all week. Soul’d Out will have Washington St. busting out all the dance moves again this year. It’s sure to be a riot!
Wednesday brings back nicer weather with a high of 83º and no rain. It’s Senior Day, and it’s sure to be a good one. Most events are at Mulligans Hollow next to the YMCA. Starts off with Pickle Ball at 8:00 followed by a living well expo, line dancing, lunch, and bingo. All events are free! Ship tours again from 6:00-8:00 p.m. while the Carnival runs 2:00-11:00 p.m.
If you haven’t found time to check out the Coast Guard ship tours, Thursday is the day to do it. Tours will run from 10:00-noon, 1:00-3:00 p.m, and 6:00-8:00 p.m. Right off the tours, the USO Band will be playing from 2:00-4:00. Come check out their jazz routine. Also, The Company Men will be performing at the Waterfront Stadium at 8:00 p.m. Come enjoy a show that brings the audience back to an older era. Tickets are $20. Carnival runs 2:00-11:00 p.m.
Friday’s weather looks a lot like Tuesday’s, so pack an umbrella just in case. The Coast Guard Craft Fair goes from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tons of local artists and craftsmen will have their tents out in Central Park for everyone to witness. There’s a National Guard Memorial Service to be held at 4:00 p.m. in Escanaba Park to honor those who have died in the line of duty. Ship tours run identically to yesterday’s schedule, as does the Carnival. Don Middlebrooke and Living Soul will be jamming at Waterfront Stadium around 8:00 p.m. He’ll have you swaying to the sounds of Jimmy Buffet until you have to go home and grab for the umbrella drinks. Tickets are $10.
Saturday, the big day, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. Low 80s all day with a slight breeze. Should be a warmer night for the fireworks, only dipping slightly below 70. The Craft Fair, and ship tours hold schedules, while the USO band plays again from 3:00-5:00 p.m. and the Carnival runs an extra 1-2 hours later. The Meijer Grand Parade begins at 11:45 a.m. and what a sight it will be. Hundreds of floats, sirens, clowns, animals, beauty queens, and candy will be rolling through Grand Haven for all ages to enjoy. Make sure to arrive early to assure a place to sit. As the afternoon turns to evening, come see the USO Band one more time as they open for The Liberty Bells at Waterfront Stadium around 7:00 p.m. Following all the jazz and patriotism will be the famous Musical Fountain! One of the largest of its kind in the world, it’s a great colorful show to see. And the moment everyone has been waiting for, the Fireworks Extravaganza will begin at dark! This is a show you just cannot miss. For 72 years, this performance has been one of the largest and most popular in Michigan. Do yourself a favor and arrive early.
From the looks of it, I think this Coast Guard Festival has the potential to be one of the best yet. Great weather all week, and amazing performances planned all week at Waterfront Stadium. Enjoy your week, and have a blast. Celebrate responsibly, and remember to keep our gorgeous town litter free.
For more information on any of the events listed above (parade routes, show times, locations, etc.), visit coastguardfest.org.