Twelve entries are a part of this year’s Front Porch Salute. The entries are spread across both the east and west sides of Grand Haven, and include residential and local business submissions.
“I am happy with all the entries this year, and I can tell everyone who entered went all out,” said Coast Guard Festival intern Andrew Haring, who helped organize this year’s contest. “I feel the participation was good, but we hope for many more entries next year.”
Participants in the decorating contest were asked to tie in with this year’s festival theme — “Global Missions-Hometown Service.” Winners were chosen in categories that included Social Media King, which is the entry with the most combined likes on Facebook and Instagram; Commander’s Choice, which is the favorite of Coast Guard Festival Executive Director Mike Smith; and Coffee Runner, which is the favorite of the festival’s interns.
Haring said he thought the public’s social media response to the entries was well received.
“We had a lot of participation with voting via Facebook, which really helped streamline the process,” he said.
The winners for this year’s Front Porch Salute contest are:
— Commander’s Choice: Joyce Ruiter, 502 Washington Ave.
— Coffee Runner: Carol Deiters, 516 Orchard Ave.
— Social Media King: Greg White, 601 Sheldon Road
Haring said he and his fellow intern, Mikaela Ederer, enjoyed judging the entries.
”Mikaela and I loved the Coffee Runner’s choice winner, with having the kids and a former Coastie being a part of the picture,” he said.
The Commander’s Choice winner, Joyce Ruiter, said she looks forward to decorating her home for the Coast Guard Festival every year.
“We started really small,” she said. “We started with just the maritime flags.”
Over time, Ruiter said the decorating has grown to include more elements. Last year, she said her home included airplane decorations to match the aviation theme of the festival, and this year there are globes in her yard to match the “global” theme.
Ruiter noted that the decorating draws quite the attention from passersby.
“We have people honking in their cars saying that they love the house,” she said.