By Krystle Wagner
As young festival-goers flock to the area for the Coast Guard festival, there are plenty of activities to keep them entertained.
From crafts, parades and music, this year’s festival offers fun for all ages. Make sure to check out these Top 5 family-friendly events:
1. Parades and candy!
Two parades are super kid-friendly and really popular. They are the Kids Parade and the Meijer Grand Parade.
The Kids Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 27. This year’s theme is “Strike Up the Band! – Saluting the .S. Coast Guard Band!” The parade route runs: Fifth Street and Franklin Avenue, west on Franklin Avenue to First Street, north on First Street to Washington, then east on Washington to Fifth Street.
The Meijer Grand Parade starts at 11:45 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 3. The candy-strewn parade route goes north up Sheldon Road to Franklin, where it heads downtown to Second Street, up Washington Avenue to Seventh Street, then back south to its ending point at Lakeshore Middle School.
2. Coast Guard Festival Community Picnic
The whole family will enjoy kicking off Coast Guard Festival by celebrating at the annual community picnic at Coast Guard Park in Ferrysburg from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, July 28. There will be food, games and music at Coast Guard Park in Ferrysburg.
3. Local Talent Night
Watch as local residents showcase their talent from vocalists, instrumentalists and bands on Monday, July 29. The show starts at 7 p.m. at Waterfront Stadium. Tickets are sold at the gate.
4. Kids Day
Kids enjoy games, face painting, storytelling and contests during this year’s Kids Day at Mulligan’s Hollow, 1 Y Drive, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 30. This is a fun, and free, event for kids of all ages.
5. Downtown Carnival
Festivalgoers looking for a thrill will want to check out the downtown carnival throughout from Tuesday, July 30, through Saturday, Aug. 3. Amusement rides, games and food are sure to provide fun and refreshments in the summer heat. Wristbands cost $20.