By Mark Brooky
Where can I park?
That’s one of the most-often asked questions in Grand Haven during the annual Coast Guard Festival. After all, the humanity in the downtown district, where most of the action happens, is multiplied many times over during the festival.
Here’s a little help to get your car parked and you on your way to festival fun:
Parking is available throughout the majority of the festival week on residential side streets adjacent to the downtown, and in all public lots off Franklin and Columbus avenues, said Dana Kollewehr, executive director of the city’s Main Street Downtown Development Authority.
“For those who are able to walk a bit, parking is also available on Washington Avenue, between 700 and 728 Washington Ave., and any public lot in Centertown,” she said. “Parking is also available, for a small fee, in private lots just off Harbor Drive.”
Many have found parking many blocks away from the downtown and find walking to the festival activities, or bringing bicycles and pedaling to them, is a better way to go.
The local bus system, Harbor Transit, offers trolley service for a nominal fee throughout the city.
Harbor Transit also runs an extensive “park and ride” service during the festival’s peak second Saturday — beginning at 9 a.m. for the Grand Parade and until after that night’s fireworks show. Just park at Harbor Island and catch the bus to Third Street and Columbus Avenue, and you’ll be close to everything.
The maximum charge is $5 per vehicle, with a portion of the proceeds going to a local nonprofit organization. A designated handicap parking area will be available for special-needs guests.