The 3rd annual Michigan Pirate
Festival will be held in downtown Grand Haven this year, August 3rd -
8th. There is no doubt that this fest will be the biggest, best, pirate
event in Michigan to date!
The Pirate Festival itself is hosting
evening events all week leading up to Saturday's fair in the park.
Cannon demonstrations, seminars, special guests, tournaments, and more
all lead up to the Friday night media blitz when the pirates sail in on
a two masted schooner to disembark on the waterfront and mingle with the
crowd. The famous musical fountain will be performing a special
"pirate" program to top off the event.
There are many good indications that
downtown Grand Haven is the perfect place for the fest. For example:
- Last September, the pirates sailed
in and debarked on the waterfront. 2,500 people swarmed the downtown
area to meet the pirates as they came off the boat. The media
covered the event.
- Our own Jackie Sparrow hosted a
children's storytime at the Loutit District Library where 70 kids
turned out to see the pirate.
- Ottawa County's Festival of the
Arts themed their prom "Pirate Night" and the festival
itself brought the pirates in to an overwhelming turnout.
- As a boating community, Grand
Haven's school mascot is the 'Buccaneers'
- The festival is supported by the
Loutit District Library, the City of Grand Haven, and the downtown
For those of you unfamiliar with Grand
Haven, here are some highlights:
- The population of this small town
(10,573) swells with over 100,000 tourists in late July and early
- Grand Haven is the 39th largest
media market in the country.
- Grand Haven is nationally
recognized as having one of the top 5 beaches in the United States
- Called the Midwest Mecca of beach
volleyball, Grand Haven State Beach is a key destination for
volleyball enthusiasts and hosts the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball
Tournament throughout the summer months
- The state park also includes a
campground on Lake Michigan, near the pier and lighthouses
- The city features a ski park (Mulligan's
Hollow Ski Bowl) and a skate park.
- The waterfront locations bring
tourists for boating, sailing, jet skiing, and wind surfing
- Grand Haven is also home to one of
the country's most beautiful golf courses. The Grand Haven Golf Club
was designed by legendary pioneer of Michigan golf, Bruce Matthews
Sr. It has been featured in Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest
magazines and on USA Network's "PGA Tour Sunday." It
gained national attention as home to the LPGA's Shoreline Classic
- Grand Haven has been a technology
leader throughout the country having been featured on ABC, PCWorld,
ComputerWorld and Forbes magazine. The city holds the title as first
municipality in the country to feature a city-wide wireless internet
service. The wireless service is designed to work throughout the
city and up to 15 miles (24 km) offshore for boaters. In 2004, the
city started offering wireless internet service every day to
residents, businesses and visitors.
- You can enjoy the trolley, a
historic downtown shopping district, art galleries, charter fishing,
and a 2.5 mile boardwalk that takes you from downtown to Lake
Michigan and the sandy beach.
- Grand Haven has the world's largest
lighted musical fountain with nightly shows.
Grand Haven is an active and eclectic
resort, boating, fishing and port community that maintains its small
town feel. The city boasts over 100 miles (160 km) of bike trails, a
state beach, boardwalk, 2 lighthouses, a pier, wharf, large charter
fishing fleet and a Great Lakes port, where it imports limestone, slag,
cement & coal while exporting sand.
History: The city dates it's founding
to French settlers and a fur-trading outpost called Gabagouache, which
was first established by Madeline La Framboise and her husband. The
outpost took the name from the Pottawattamie Indians name for the area,
Gabagouache. The trading post was later taken over by business tycoon
and first millionaire in the United States, John Jacob Astor and the
American Fur Company and became a hub of economic activity in the area.
The city was first called "Grand
Haven" in 1835 and the community was incorporated as a city in
Other areas of interest:
Studio JSD is a multi range jewelry
design studio featuring studio tours, demonstrations, jewelry
fabrication workshops and classes and is also the primary production
location for the work of Michigan jewelry artist Julie Sanford. The
studio is located in beautiful Grand Haven next to the Grand Haven Area
Arts Council on Columbus at Ferry. Visit the Web site for event
information. Visit the studio for a free tour and demonstration. Groups
The Depot Museum location, situated on
the banks of the Grand River in the former Grand Trunk Railroad depot,
provides a glimpse at the past, a view of our nautical heritage, and a
learning experience for all to enjoy. The Museum's two floors house a
variety of artifacts depicting the rich heritage of the area. Go through
the Pere Marquette 1223 Steam Locomotive.
Harbourfront Place, Operated around
the turn of the century as a piano factory, the renovated three-story
piano factory is home to a variety of fine shops, offices, a restaurant
and food court.
The Scriptorium: Center for Christian
Antiquities research center which houses the Van Kampen Collection of
ancient artifacts, manuscripts and rare printed materials. The
collection consists primarily of Biblical texts in all forms and also
includes a large cuneiform and papyrii holdings.
The Tri-Cities Historical Museum
provides visitors an opportunity to look through the windows of time
into the history of Northwest Ottawa County, including the communities
of Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg. Located in two separate
buildings both with historic connections to the area, the museum has
grown and prospered since its beginnings back in 1959. Since 1972 it has
occupied the former Grand Trunk Railroad Depot which was built in 1870.
Fur trader Rix Robinson established
his trading post in 1821 not far from the very spot on which the present
museum rests. Offering exhibits for the entire family to enjoy. Exhibits
which illustrate that throughout history - people, places and things
have played key roles in bringing about the quality of life enjoyed in
Northwest Ottawa County today which tell the stories of Native
Americans, early pioneers, lumberjacks and French voyageurs. Victorian
period rooms, medicine, agriculture, lumbering, maritime, tourism and
other exhibits portraying day-to-day life-styles can be enjoyed by
people of all ages and interests.
For more information, see: http://www.visitgrandhaven.com/