GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- It's an annual celebration 91 years running. Friday, the Coast Guard Festival will kick off in Grand Haven, honoring 225 years of Coast Guard service to the country.
Preparations began Thursday for the event expected to draw an additional 350,000 people to the city.
"The community is so involved in this festival, because we have a Coast Guard station here in Grand Haven," said Annie Lengkeek, director of marketing for the event. "It’s just a time where the whole community can come together and honor the men and women.”
The festival will run daily from July 24 through August 2. Live music, fireworks, car shows and parades are just some of the items on the agenda for the next ten days in Coast Guard City, U.S.A.
According to Lengkeek, the festival is good for local business, too. Event organizers expect additional business to the tune of an additional $10 million to be added to the local economy thanks to additional spending at restaurants and shops.
"It's really amazing if you think about it," said Lengkeek, "that a ten-day festival can create that much."
But at its core, the Coast Guard Festival is meant to honor the men and women who work to keep our coastlines safe, and have done so for 225 years.
"The true benefit goes to the men and women of the Coast Guard," said Lengkeek, "because we’re honoring them all week.”