Musical Fountain memories

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:34 PM

Nunica residents Evelyn and Del Keyes have seen the fountain in Las Vegas that swiped the title of “largest musical fountain in the world” from Grand Haven when it was built in 1998.

“Theirs is nothing,” said Evelyn. “It's boring.”

The couple was in Las Vegas for a bowling tournament when they decided to check out the fountain at the Bellagio Resort and Casino.

“It wasn't anywhere near as spectacular as ours,” Evelyn said. “The water just shoots straight up and it only has white lights. It might be bigger, but it's nothing like ours.

"Where else can you go to see a fountain like the one in Grand Haven? You can't," she added.

The Keyeses have been fountain fans since they built a house in Nunica in the early 1990s. They became super fans a few years ago when the dancing waters gave an unexpected performance on their 39th wedding anniversary.

After dining at a downtown Grand Haven restaurant, the Keyeses walked down to Waterfront Stadium and sat in the bleachers. They mentioned how nice it would be if the fountain would play, but it was a weeknight in September.

September fountain performances are only on weekends after Labor Day.

All of a sudden, the lights came on, water began to spout and dance, and music blared.

“It was a beautiful, warm night," said Del, 68, "and we were just sitting there watching the boats and stuff. We were talking about the Musical Fountain and all of a sudden it started playing. She thought I had set it up for her for our anniversary.”

It turned out that a man had set up a new program for the fountain and he was testing in advance of the weekend debut.

“It was just amazing how it happened,” Del said. “It was like our own private show and one of the most memorable anniversaries ever.”

Most summer nights, the Keyeses say they check the Tribune to see what songs the fountain will be playing.

“We go down and see it anytime we're not tied up with something else,” said Evelyn, 66. “Our favorite day is Coast Guard Festival when they have the fireworks and the fountain together. It's spectacular. We've never seen anything like it in our whole lives.”

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