Plenty of area activities on tap for July 4

The Tri-Cities will be celebrating the nation's independence on Monday with a myriad of patriotic activities in the community. The day kicks off in Ferrysburg, where the annual Fourth of July Parade is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. "We usually get a great turnout, especially down Pine Street,' Ferrysburg City Clerk Debbie Wierenga said. "It's packed with people.'
Alex Doty
Jun 29, 2011

The parade begins at Ferrysburg City Hall, 17290 Roosevelt Road, and then travel down Ridge Street to Pine Street toward Fifth Third Bank. It ends at William Ferry Park, where a flag-raising ceremony and family activities will be held immediately following the parade.

“Right now, we have approximately 50 entries into the parade,” Wierenga said, adding it isn’t typical for people to show up on the day of the event wanting to drive or walk in the parade.

Before the parade, a free community breakfast will take place in the gymnasium at City Hall from 8-10 a.m. Wierenga said the event is free, but there will be a donation bucket to benefit local food pantries at the door.

Later, people can make their way to Waterfront Stadium in Grand Haven where U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, will be the guest reader of the Declaration of Independence at 9:30 p.m.

“I would think most people haven’t heard the complete reading of the Declaration of Independence,” said Larry Halverson, community relations coordinator for Loutit District Library, which is sponsoring the event.

At 9 p.m., colonial re-enactors from the Brethren of the Great Lakes will escort Huizenga from the library, 407 Columbus Ave., down Washington Avenue to the waterfront. The crowd is asked to follow the colonial townspeople around the speakers crates and boxes used as a colonial platform for the reading. Seating is also available in the stadium seating area.

The reading is part of 14 events that complement the “John Adams Unbound” exhibit at the library.

“It’s only fitting that we try and include that,” Halverson said, adding Adams was one of the editors of the Declaration of Independence.

At the conclusion of the reading, Halverson said the event will transition right into the Musical Fountain show, followed by the Grand Haven Area Jaycees’ fireworks show. 

The city of Grand Haven is allowing people to reserve a viewing spot at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 4, in Bicentennial Park, Chinook Park, Escanaba Park and the entire waterfront. The placement of reservation materials prior to 12:01 a.m. Monday is prohibited.

Items that may be used to mark spots include blankets and folding chairs. No duct tape, plastic tarps, rocks, stakes or spray paint are allowed. Plastic tarps suffocate and kill the grass, rocks and stakes present a tripping hazard, and spray paint looks bad and kills grass, city officials said. All duct tape, plastic tarps, rocks and stakes placed on any public park or property at anytime will be removed by the city.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department’s Marine Patrol will clear the seawall of all boat traffic at noon Monday. No mooring will be allowed along the seawall before 1 a.m. Tuesday.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety will be closing several downtown area streets on Monday night to facilitate vehicle traffic for the Fourth of July events.

The following streets will be closed to traffic from 6-11:45 p.m.: Harbor Drive between Sherman and North First, Washington from Harbor to First, Franklin from Harbor to First, Clinton from Harbor to First, Lafayette from Harbor to First, and Howard from Harbor to Sand. No vehicular traffic will be allowed in the street closure areas after 6 p.m.

Franklin Avenue will again become one way eastbound to accommodate traffic flow following the firework show. As a result, officers will be at each intersection on Franklin from Harbor Drive to Beacon Boulevard to assist eastbound traffic and any cross traffic. This change in traffic direction will occur at approximately 10 p.m., just prior to the completion of the fireworks display.

Seventh Street from Franklin north to U.S. 31 will be closed at 10 p.m. through approximately midnight to facilitate safe traffic flow at the completion of the fireworks.

Maps of egress routes are available on the GHDPS website: www.grandhaven.org/ghps.

There will be no parking on Franklin from Beacon to Harbor to facilitate an “emergency vehicle only” lane from the downtown area from 6 p.m. Monday until 2 a.m. Tuesday.

There will also be multiple temporary “no parking/tow away” zones in place, which will be strictly enforced. These areas will be duly posted.

Finally, the drawbridge will not be raised between 10:45 p.m. Monday and 2 a.m. Tuesday.

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