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50-year celebration planned for Community Center, library

Alex Doty • Aug 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM

The city plans to put a different spin on its annual end-of-summer community celebration by hosting an event to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Grand Haven Community Center and adjacent Loutit District Library.

“This is in lieu of the usual fall picnic we do over in East Grand River Park,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “This will be the city picnic.”

According to McGinnis, the city, library and Tri-Cities Historical Museum have had many meetings during the past several months discussing the community celebration, set to take place Sunday, Sept. 17, on Columbus Avenue and in Central Park.

The idea behind the event is to replicate the day that the original library and Community Center facilities were dedicated, and include “the same cast of people, but fast-forwarded 50 years,” McGinnis noted.

“This has sort of evolved throughout the spring and summer to do a celebration of the 50 years that the Loutit District Library and Community Center have been there,” he said. “It was dedicated in Sept. 17, 1967, so this is exactly 50 years later."

McGinnis said they are still getting it all pulled together.

“We're having tie-dyed T-shirts made for everybody that will be there helping out, and we're working on getting only restaurants that were here serving food in 1967,” he said. “So far, we've got Pronto Pups and Ray’s Beef Burgers signed up, and we're working on a local pizza place that was here in 1967.”

The plans call for Columbus Avenue to be closed to traffic in front of the library and Community Center. The day will include games for children, guest speakers, movies from  1967 shown in the library and Community Center, and music from the Grand Haven High School marching band.

"It should be an exciting, exceptional Sunday afternoon to celebrate 50 years of what has been a part of our community," McGinnis said.

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