Grand Haven’s canceled Coast Guard Festival moves to front porches
By ANYA VAN WAGTENDONK | MLive.com | Published: July 13, 2020
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GRAND HAVEN, MI (Tribune News Service) — A “Front Porch Salute” seeks to sustain the patriotic sentiment associated with the annual Coast Guard Festival, a nearly century-old tradition that was canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
From July 25 to Aug. 8, Grand Haven residents and businesses are encouraged to decorate their porches, yards and windows to signal their appreciation for the U.S. Coast Guard, in the absence of the 96th annual Coast Guard Festival.
In May, organizers of the yearly event announced that the festival, which draws hundreds of thousands of people to the area, would be canceled.
Those who decorate their homes may email photos of their transformed spaces to festival organizers. Photos may be shared on social media or included in other materials.
Grand Haven was the first American city to earn the nickname “Coast Guard City, USA,” in recognition of its importance to the military branch, in 1998. The festival honors active duty and veteran personnel, especially those who died while serving.
Last year, about 350,000 people attended for two weeks of parades, food, games, concerts, street parties and fireworks.