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Grand Haven less crowded, but still busy this Memorial Day

Posted at 5:14 PM, May 25, 2020

GRAND HAVEN — The Grand Haven area is always a popular one on Memorial Day, but the normally packed beaches are looking a little different this year with Governor Whitmer’s Stay at Home Order.

The catwalk and beach area saw a stead stream of people coming through all day long and the downtown area picked up a good amount of foot-traffic.

Andrea Tejchma who lives in Grand Haven said, “It’s nice to get out here and be by the water just enjoying this beautiful view.”

It’s certainly a holiday for the history books; honoring those who’ve died serving our country as the nation navigates the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Sgt. Eric Westveer with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit said things are a bit slower this year.

“Obviously you can see the boating traffic is a little bit lower then we wouldn’t normally expect on a memorial day,” he said.

Sgt. WestVeer said even though this year is very different, they’re still concerned about the same things: high water levels, boating safety, and safe alcohol consumption.

He said, “Already, the lake levels everyone knows are higher this year than last year , well above average, and then all that rainfall that we had last week, that brought the levels up even higher.”

Now, they’re having to patrol social distancing, but so far Sgt. Westveer said it hasn’t been an issue.

“I did notice that people were staying away from each other as far as the social distancing aspect, very well. I didn’t notice any large groups of people congregating when I went through,” he said.

While some beaches and parking lots are still closed, and local parades were cancelled, most say they’re just enjoying what they can do.

Andrea Tejchma said, “We were just talking about the Memorial program that they had down at the waterfront this morning and just talking and reminiscing about all the years we’ve been able to participate those things.”

Sgt. Westveer said they won’t be writing tickets for not complying with social distancing, but hopes everyone respects those guidelines and remembers what the holiday is all about.

He said, “Granted the pandemic we are in right now, biggest thing this reminds me of is the freedoms that we do have here. Sometimes you take for granted what you have until realize that you can’t go out and do things because of what is going on at this point. “