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Michigan Pirate Festival

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Schedule of Events

Michigan Pirate Festival's

Buccaneer Fest

Photo gallery HERE!!


Aug 3-8, Grand Haven MI - Central Park

Next to the Loutit District Library

(Vendors are Saturday Aug 8 only)

Vendors application

Entertainers application

Volunteering information


Note: all apps use Microsoft Word; if you would like a printed application packet mailed to you, or require a different format, please let us know!

Maps and Directions! Click Here!

Motel Info Click Here!


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 businesses.

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 August.
  • 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 1867.

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 welcome.

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:









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Miscellaneous and Legal

All images, photos, web designs, layouts, leather designs, and all other images and property contained herein are Copyright 2006-2010 by the Michigan Pirate Festival, Inc, and Brethren of the Great Lakes, Inc., unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved. Duplication in any manner of this website in whole or in part, and/or any of the objects, text, images, and other presentations depicted or displayed within this website without written permission is a violation of federal law. The Michigan Pirate Festival, Inc. is owned and operated by the Brethren of the Great Lakes, Inc. Contact: Brethren of the Great Lakes 1805 N. Philip Rd Niles MI 49120  or EMail us! Ask to be put on our email newsletter list! Website issues should be reported to