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Police prepare for holiday crowds in Grand Haven

While the city's Fourth of July firework display has been cancelled, large crowds of beachgoers are still expected
Posted at 4:41 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 17:32:01-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Despite the city cancelling their annual Fourth of July firework show, thousands are expected to descend upon the lakeshore over the upcoming holiday weekend.

"Fourth of July and Coastguard [Festival] are usually just busy, busy, busy," said Lt Lee adams, Operations Lieutenant for the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.

"We have tons of people who come into town. We don't really know what to expect this year but we’re preparing for anything."

Wednesday afternoon the beach and pier at Grand Haven State Park were busy, but groups were for the most part keeping their distance from one another.

“Obviously we want people to be safe, we want people to maintain their social distancing as much as they can with the crowds that will be down there," Lt Adams told FOX 17.

As the state park is now completely open, it will be up to anyone visiting to practice social distancing and hygiene.

“Now that it's open, we’re seeing the same numbers we do normally, if not even more because everyone's been kind of waiting for this," Lt Adams said.

Aside from worries over spreading the coronavirus, one of the biggest concerns for the department of public safety is people remaining safe while in the water..

“Even if it looks calm, the lake can be deceiving,"Lt Adams said. "So we’re just asking you keep an eye on all your children and use the area signs if you have to call in an emergency."

There are 14 area signs on the beach, each labeled with a number 1 through 14. These signs can help you when calling 911 to better direct first responders to the location of an emergency.

Lt Adams says officers will also be cracking down on illegal use of drugs and alcohol over the weekend.

“I'd say we have actually had an increase in alcohol and marijuana use, now with the new laws. I think some people are a little confused about the laws," Lt Adams Said.

"It is still illegal to consume alcohol and marijuana in public.”

Officers will also be enforcing local laws related to setting off fireworks. Per city ordinances they must not be shot off after 11:45pm.

So while there are a few new concerns for officers this summer, Lt Adams says the department is ready to handle the influx of beachgoers.

“We’re definitely ready for anything that happens and hopefully everyone is safe and has a good time,” Lt Adams said.