Incidents minimal on busy holiday weekend

The hottest spot in Grand Haven for Independence Day weekend fun-seekers was almost certainly Grand Haven State Park. The park's acting supervisor, Melissa VanderVelde, said thousands of people came to camp, swim or play on the beach over the three-day weekend. On Monday alone, VanderVelde said she estimated that around 5,000 people came to the state park. "The beach was standing-room only, at least in front of the pavilion,' she said, adding that the park's 174 campsites were full Saturday through Monday.
Tribune Staff
Jul 5, 2011

Michigan Department of Natural Resources officers wrote 17 citations on Sunday and Monday for “anything from alcohol to parking,” VanderVelde said. Two DNR officers came to help the park’s staff keep order, and two park officers from the Allegan Recreation Unit helped as well.

“There were missing children — which we found, thank goodness — and some medical (emergencies) on the beach, but it was nothing out of the ordinary,” VanderVelde said. “Just a whole lot more people.”

Parking was a major issue throughout the weekend, VanderVelde said. On Monday, the Fisherman’s Parking Lot was full by 8 a.m., and the rest of the state park’s 730 parking spaces were full by 10:30 a.m.

Fourth of July incidents were kept to a minimum despite the warm weather attracting large crowds to Grand Haven’s waterfront areas, according to Lt. Renee Freeman of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.

“The beach was ridiculously packed,” Freeman said. “It was Coast Guard Festival busy.”

Freeman said traffic flowed well out of Grand Haven after the fireworks and was clear from the downtown area by 12:30 a.m. today.

To read more of this story, see today’s print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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