City's spot-marking rules

Marking your spot for watching Saturday's parade and Saturday night's fireworks in Grand Haven is not allowed until after midnight tonight.
Mark Brooky
Jul 31, 2014


Brett Tompkins sent the Tribune several photos of spots marked along the Coast Guard Grand Parade route that he took Wednesday evening. Per the city's policy, those markings may have since been removed by city workers.

"I find it very tacky and distasteful for people to mark 'their' spots for the Saturday morning parade any time, let alone three and a half days in advance," Tompkins wrote. "It makes the town look trashed the premier week of Coast Guard Festival, when thousands of out-of-towners visit our quaint beautiful city, Coast Guard City USA. There is no need to reserve large swaths of grass for either the parade or fireworks — just show up and enjoy the events without the tackiness of caution tape littering the lawns."

So what is the policy? Here it is ver batim, from the City of Grand Haven website:

Coast Guard Festival Blanket Policy

The City of Grand Haven invites the public to place blankets, chairs and other spot marking materials on all public property to reserve space for the parade and fireworks after 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August, 1, 2014. Materials placed before midnight will be removed by City crews.

Please remember that no plastic tarps, duct tape, rocks, stakes or spray paint are allowed for reserving spots. Plastic tarps suffocate and kill the grass. Rocks and stakes present a tripping hazard. All plastic tarps, duct tape, rocks, or stakes placed on any public park or property at anytime will be removed by the City of Grand Haven.

The Ottawa County Sheriff patrol will clear the seawall of all boat traffic on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 12:00 noon. No mooring will be allowed along the seawall after that time. Boats may moor on the seawall after 12:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 3, 2014.

Boaters should be aware that all vessels moored along the seawall on Friday, August 1st will need to be registered at the Municipal Marina and obtain an overnight mooring permit. There is a $10 charge for the permit. Rafting will be limited to only three vessels from the seawall. Any vessel moored on the seawall on this date that is not registered will be asked to depart from the seawall.



I was just down that way a half hour ago and all that tape and other debris is still there, all up and down Fulton and Sheldon.

There are people down there sitting in lawn chairs until midnight when they can "legally" put their crap down. I asume they're doing that so that just in case the cops, or whoever, comes along to pull up their stuff, they'll have a fight on their hands trying to remove it. What a bunch of morons.

I've never understood the need for these useless proclamations. If you're not going to enforce the rules/laws with action then what is the point? People ignore the laws when they know the laws won't be enforced.

It's just a parade fercryinoutloud....


You're right - I think fire hosing the areas would be an appropriate and effective law enforcement technique - no muss, no fuss, no fights, and it does get chilly in these nights of globull warming.


All marking of spots, including along lakeshore drive is ridiculous.


It really is sad. For a parade... haha


I don,t think they should allow marking your spot at all, it show,s how greedy people are !!!,


I think that there should be no saving spots at all.
Why cant people just find a place like an hour before the parade.


If you pay taxes in the city you should be able to hangout on city property.


As long as you have groups like the Christian Reformed Church rotating squatters on the water-front to save large swaths of fireworks watching spots, I'd say it is pretty hypocritical to criticize working families for marking spots with tape. Not every family has an army of stay-at-home-moms, and retirees that they can count on to sit in there spots for 48hours before the events.
If you have a bunch of young kids or elderly people, you want to have a spot to put out some chairs and not make them walk the whole parade route looking for a spot the day of.
It's a deeply flawed system, but it works and I don't see much point in b-ing about it.


Nope Louis, Coast Guard Parade and all festivities are all first come, first served basis, there no making reservations at these event,s !!!


It has gotten WAY out of control, and the City of Grand Haven should make it a priority, to FINALLY put an end to this practice! I know for a fact that people are making BIG money off of this practice, as locals simply tape off large areas, and rent the space out to the largest bidder! No different than those locals renting out parking spaces in their yards for as much as 20 bucks a pop!!! It's just not right! First come, first serve means just THAT, and the "saving/renting" of city owned property should NOT be allowed under ANY circumstances...but as usual (in this town)...MONEY TALKS!!! Don't get me started in regards to what's become, over the years, the areas BIGGEST R.V. campground...boarding the parking lots along Jackson...taking up HUGE amounts of PARKING SPACES, and COMPLETELY blocking the view of ANY locals around them!!! again...MONEY TALKS!!! I suspect NOTHING is being done about it because its not about WHAT you's WHO you know!!! UGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!


Corner of 4th and Franklin was marked, would that be the starting point of the parade ? i know that,s where the Christmas parade start,s


Is someone going to honestly tell me that 'No, this is MY spot' if I try and stand in the street or the corner that has been duct taped off? This is stupid human tricks on full display. Magnify this psychology to a large degree and you'll see why the planet is always on the brink of war.


why is it that people that are usually quite normal,turn into something quite different when they hear the word festival,i cannot beleave what some of hese socalled normal people will do to mark a spot for a parade


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