'A nicer night' for Street Dance, water ski show

The Coast Guard Festival's 10th annual Street Dance was a night later, but organizers and dancers were glad for it. "Luckily, we could move it from Tuesday night when the weather forecast was lousy and make it on Wednesday night,' Street Dance Chairman Roger Jonas said at the event on Washington Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets. "And I think people got the message. Look at the crowds down here.'
Mark Brooky
Aug 4, 2011

Coast Guard Festival Executive Director Mike Smith said they might have only gotten one song in on Tuesday before the rains would have washed it out.

“There was enough lightning around and thunder, and that’s not a good mix when you’ve got electronic equipment around,” Jonas said. “We didn’t want to take a chance and I’m glad we didn’t. It’s a much nicer night tonight ... a perfect night for dancing and listening.”

Paul and Dawn Heggerding of Norton Shores seemed to agree as they danced near the stage to the oldies played by the Sea Cruisers.

“It’s a wonderful band,” Dawn said.

The Heggerdings said they’ve been dancing together for 50 years. Wednesday was the third year the couple have attended the Street Dance.

“We really enjoy it,” Paul said.

Jonas said the Sea Cruisers have been the only band to play at the dance in its 10-year history.

“I started it in 2002 when I was the executive director of the Coast Guard Festival, and the band was really good then,” Jonas said. “I found them in Lansing — and every year they come back, we get bigger crowds and we’ve really got a following now.”

Smith thanked the dance crowd for their support of all festival events.

“By attending all of these events, whether they are free or not, you are indicating pride in the service that I love — and apparently you love along with me — the United States Coast Guard,” he said.

The Grand City Skiers show on the Grand River was also postponed from Tuesday night. Festival organizers replaced the Ransom Street Big Band show at Waterfront Stadium with the water ski show on Wednesday night.

To see more photos from the Street Dance, click here.

To see more photos from the water ski show, click here.

To see a video from the ski show and other Coast Guard Festival events, click here.

For more information on this year's festival, click here.

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