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.