“The weather has kind of kept everything pretty tame,” said Senior Chief Kirk McKay of Coast Guard Station Grand Haven. “Usually, we have more boat and foot traffic.”
It's been more than 10 degrees cooler in Grand Haven this week than during the 2012 Coast Guard Festival. Lake Michigan's water has been a cool 55-60 this week.
McKay expects activity to pick up as the crowds come into town for this weekend.
“We’ll be out there patrolling, talking to boaters and encouraging safety, as we always do,” he said.
Still, the influx of people in town for the festival has led to the expected traffic issues, Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said. In the evening, the number of complaints about intoxication goes up.
“We’ve had a few of these this week, but it’s very much on par with previous years,” Hawke said.
An increase in lost and found property — primarily purses, bags and cellphones — is always an issue during festival week.
“There will be between 10 and 20 complaints of lost or found items on Coast Guard Saturday,” Hawke said. “We return a high percentage of it.”
Hawke said there’s an added presence of police through foot patrols during the week. On Saturday, the ranks will be reinforced with the assistance of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and Michigan State Police, and the majority of the Grand Haven department will work that evening.
Supporting the officers on Saturday will be North Ottawa Community Hospital paramedics, the city’s Senior Volunteer Patrol and members of the North Ottawa Amateur Radio Club.
Deputies have been visible all week because the festival hires reservists to patrol different areas, Hawke said.Besides the increased police force in town, there will be a lot of firefighters on Dewey Hill for Saturday night's fireworks show.
“We will have in excess of 40 firefighters from many area departments, including some from Kent County,” Hawke said.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.