GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — At least two fights forced the DNR to close Grand Haven State park temporarily on the Fourth of July.
DNR officials say large groups of people in densely packed groups make it hard for them to monitor what's going on, but at some point, a conservation officer saw someone throwing punches. That was enough for them to break the large group up before things escalated. The group had more than 100 people.
One person was arrested for assault. 20 tickets were written by DNR officials for various violations, like drinking on the beach. More tickets are coming, too, with officials having an inch-thick stack to go over to the courthouse.
A camper nearby saw the whole thing.
“It just got so crazy. There were.. I’m going to call them mosh pits,” Judy Breuer said.
The crowd fueled by alcohol was dispersed around 3:30 in the afternoon. The beach opened by around 8pm in time for the fireworks, but large crowds did not return because of the rain.
Campers are largely thankful for the orange fencing surrounding their campsite on days like Monday when the crowd begins to get out of control.
“Better to be on the side of caution, than to have kids hurt,” camper Jason Wolters said.
The DNR says they'll debrief after this, and plan ahead for the Coast Guard Festival.