The ever-popular annual Coast Guard Festival, which is held in late July and early August, draws in hundreds of thousands of people from all over the nation every year to celebrate those who have served in the Coast Guard in the past, especially those who have lost their lives, and those who are currently serving our country! With over a week of celebrations, activities, and tributes, it’s a festival that you can’t miss!
Coast Guard Festival Origins
Given the size and popularity of the Coast Guard Festival, it’s hard to imagine that this wonderful celebration started out on a very small scale! It began unofficially in 1924 as a picnic exclusively for Coast Guard personnel stationed in Grand Haven. The first true festival occurred in 1937 and has grown each year, with several activities held annually! This led to Grand Haven receiving the title of Coast Guard City, USA, by an act of Congress, and was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1998!
RV Camping for the Coast Guard Festival
Grand Haven State Park
Grand Haven is a bustling town any time during the summer, but Coast Guard Festival is an entirely different story! The best spot for RV camping during the festival (and anytime, really) is the wonderful Grand Haven State Park, with 48 acres and 174 available campsites!
Grand Haven State Park is a beautiful campground located right on the shores of Lake Michigan, next to all the fun of the Coast Guard Festival! It comes complete with full beach access, beautiful scenery, stunning Lake Michigan sunsets, and plenty of things to see and do! There is a vibrant downtown just a short walk or bike ride from the State Park with plenty of unique shops, terrific restaurants, and awesome breweries! In addition to a host of Coast Guard events to take in, there is also much to see and do in downtown Grand Haven.
This wonderful campground is just minutes from all the action of Grand Haven, also making it a great option for your stay during the Coast Guard Festival! This lovely and affordable campground features electrical hookups, clean restrooms, and more! This option is met with mixed online reviews, but its proximity to Grand Haven and the Coast Guard Festival still make it a good choice!
Events You Can’t Miss
There are a number of amazing events held throughout the duration of the Coast Guard Festival, with some being treasured traditions that people flock from all over to see! Musical performances are held almost nightly, along with a fun street dance and Festival Idol singing competition! Take time to tour the amazing Coast Guard ships, and take a whirl on the fun rides at the downtown carnival! If you appreciate art and have a taste for vintage inspiration, check out the flea market and craft fair!
Don’t forget to celebrate our Coast Guard heroes with the National Coast Guard memorial service and the Meijer Grand Parade, which features more than 150 entries to salute members of the Coast Guard! The final large event is the popular and exciting fireworks extravaganza, which has been held for over 75 years and is an extraordinary show!
There is something for everyone to love about the Coast Guard festival, from fun activities to RV camping and more! Now that you have the insider info on how to have the most fun at the Coast Guard Festival, plan your trip now! We can’t wait to see you out there!