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The 10-day Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival is just a few days away and we are getting ready to celebrate with a list of five “can’t miss” events and activities! The 2014 Coast Guard Festival kicks off July 25th and goes through August 3rd.

1. Ship Arrival & Ship Tours
When? Ships arrive Monday, July 28th at approx. 1 pm
Ship tours: Monday, July 28th – Saturday, August 2nd at various times
Where? Grand Haven Channel and Escanaba Park

The USCGC Hollyhock, USCGC Bristol Bay, The Laurentian,  and the USCGC Biscayne Bay ships arrive in Grand Haven to kick off the Festival events. People line the Grand River channel and pier to welcome the men and women of Coast Guard as they dock at Escanaba Park. Throughout the week, the crew members welcome the public to a free tour of the ships to meet the personnel and learn how the Coast Guard Cutters break through the ice in the winter months.

2. Street Dance
When? Tuesday, July 29th from 8:30 – 10:30 pm
Where? Washington Street between 3rd and 4th Streets

With Washington Avenue closed off, the street transforms into an epic dance party! Put on your dancing shoes and boogie on down to enjoy live music from the 60’s through today!

3. National Memorial Service
When? Friday, August 1st at 4 pm
Where? Escanaba Park

The National Memorial Service is at the heart of the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival. The Service will take place at 4 pm in Escanaba Park and honors the United States Coast Guard’s brave members and those who have “past over the bar” in the last year. The Memorial Service is open to the public.

4. Grand Parade
When? Saturday, August 2nd at 11:45 am
Where? Downtown Grand Haven

This 2-hour parade is full of clowns, floats, marching bands, military units, dignitaries, local sports teams, and many other groups. With an estimated 100,000 visitors, the Grand Parade is one of the highlights at the Coast Guard Festival! Line the streets of Downtown Grand Haven to celebrate the men and women of the US Coast Guard and the rich heritage of “Coast Guard City, USA!” You can find the parade route information here.

5. Fireworks Extravaganza
When? Saturday, August 2nd at dark
Where? Grand Haven Waterfront

Largely hailed as the “best fireworks display in Michigan” the Fireworks Extravaganza lights up the sky with brilliant colors on the last night of the festival. The fireworks show is accompanied with choreographed music of the famous Grand Haven Musical Fountain show and is bigger and better each year! The fireworks are shot off across the channel on Dewey Hill and can be seen along the waterfront. Come early to grab a seat to the one firework show you really don’t want to miss!

With so many other events and activities including Kids Day, Senior Day, craft fair, car show and entertainment, everyone in the family is sure to enjoy their time on Grand Haven’s sunny Lake Michigan shoreline honoring the men and women of the United States Coast Guard!

For a full schedule of events and activities, visit the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival website.