Record crowds at the grand parade.
The best carnival attendance ever.
More than 31,000 visitors on the ships.
Coast Guard Festival Director Mike Smith said the numbers are important, but the reason he is so thrilled with this year’s festivities is “because our guests felt honored.”
“That’s what drives me to look for ways to continue to improve it (the festival),” he said.
“Our heroes just felt the love,” Smith said. “They were blown away with our fireworks and how it tied in with the memorial service.”
“The fireworks continue to astound,” he said. “Our guests were moved to tears.”
While it’s difficult to come up with the true attendance at Saturday night’s fireworks finale, Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said the crowd was large.
“We had a few medical emergencies, property damage accidents and alcohol-related offenses,” Hawke said. “It was reported that a man showed a concealed pistol at Harbor and Washington. This turned out not to be true. The man was arrested for an alcohol –related probation violation.”
From a public safety standpoint, the festival was a success, Hawke said.
See more of this story in Monday's print and electronic editions of the Grand Haven Tribune.