Celebrating Coast Guard City



The first official Coast Guard Festival was celebrated in 1937, though it followed 14 years of an unofficial family-oriented picnic. It was not until 1998 that Grand Haven was named “Coast Guard City USA” by an Act of Congress.

Every year the festival grows and expands, and the people keep coming. This year’s parade, featuring a number of statewide politicians (such as Congresswoman Debbie Stabenow, below), and Coast Guard officials, lasted nearly three hours. The fireworks were truly spectacular, and such popular events as the Grand City Skiers and the firefighter water competition (shown bottom right) continue to wow the crowds.

Unfortunately, the event was marred by the drowning deaths of two people and the hospitalization of three others. The events had nothing to do with the festival itself, and everything to do with high waves and dangerous conditions.