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Top 10 Can’t Miss Festivals

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By MARK BROOKY

mbrooky@grandhaventribune.com

There should be no surprise at what is the No. 1 summer festival in our part of Ottawa County.

In fact, it’s one of the biggest festivals in the entire state, drawing estimated crowds of a quarter-million people or more to Grand Haven.

1. Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival

This unique 10-day national military festival honors the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard from July 26 to Aug. 4. The festival culminates on what many call “Coast Guard Saturday,” which is Aug. 3 this year. It begins with the Grand Parade in downtown Grand Haven and ends with throngs of people at the waterfront to see the fireworks show. Visit coastguardfest.org for details.

CG FESTIVAL 2012

2. Spring Lake Heritage Festival

This is the village’s time (June 11-15) to shine. Events include fireworks, a community picnic, Family Fun Night, a car show and a Civil War presentation. Visit slheritagefestival.com for details.

 

3. Fruitport Old Fashioned Days

The festival’s carnival midway takes place in Fruitport’s Pomona Park, overlooking the north end of Spring Lake, from May 22-27. It also includes fireworks, a parade and the popular ox roast. Visit fruitportlions.com for details.

4. Feast of the Strawberry Moon

The 18th-century living history event recreates life as it was here from 1760-1820. The June 8-9 event takes place on Grand Haven’s Harbor Island. Visit tri-citiesmuseum.org for details.

5. Great Lakes Kite Festival

The sky over the Grand Haven State Park beach is filled with colorful kites of all shapes and sizes May 17-19. Some do amazing tricks. Visit mackite.com for details.

6. Grand Haven Art Festival

Downtown Grand Haven is blocked off and a Family Fun Day coincides with the outdoor art gallery June 29-30.

GH ART FEST

7. Ottawa County Fair

The annual event features classic county fair attractions like a carnival midway, 4-H and livestock shows, demolition derby, and horse racing. It’s at the Ottawa County Fair Grounds on the north side of Holland from July 22-27. Visit ottawacountyfair.com for details.

8. Michigan Pirate Festival

Loutit District Library hosts this Aug. 5-11 salute to pirates. Events take place at the library and on Harbor Island. Visit MichiganPirateFestival.com for details.

9. Coopersville Summerfest

This Aug. 5-10 festival features the Del Shannon Memorial Car Show, with classics lining a mile heading into downtown Coopersville. Visit coopersville.com for details.

10. Grand Haven Salmon Festival

The downtown Grand Haven waterfront is busy Sept. 13-15 with this passage into autumn. It features art, food, a fishing contest and family fun. Visit visitgrandhaven.com/salmon-festival for details.