Salmon Fest begins Friday

The popular Fresh Catch Fish Boil will kick off this year's Grand Haven Salmon Festival on Friday afternoon.
Becky Vargo
Sep 18, 2012

That’s just the beginning of three days of events planned for the Grand Haven waterfront. Also on tap are a new geocaching event, Kids Zone, grape stomp, fishing contest, wine tasting, salmon cookoff, art fair, museum exhibit and fall hike.

For the complete schedule, click on the Related File below this story.

Festival Director Marci Cisneros, who is also the executive director of the Grand Haven Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, expects about 500 pounds of salmon to be consumed at the ninth annual Fish Boil.

While volunteers from the Sons of the American Legion man the pots, Just Joe will provide some musical accompaniment on his guitar.

And, like last year, Fish Boil patrons will be dining off compostable plates. The soufflé cups, trays, plates, utensils and liners for the bins will be taken to a compost site in Holland, Cisneros said.

This sustainability concept will also be used at Saturday's wine tasting and Salmon Cookoff, she said.

“We are always looking at creative ways to bring people together, to get people to get outdoors, and to be good stewards of the water and the land,” Cisneros said.

That comes into play with a new logo this year. The three salmon circling each other is like the three-arrowed recycle logo, Cisneros said.

Tickets for Friday's Fish Boil are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under.

Friday’s event has been expanded to include live music by the Beach Bashers under the entertainment tent in the Municipal Marina parking lot. Cisneros said a wristband obtained for the Fish Boil is also good for entry into the entertainment tent; otherwise, it's a $3 cover charge.

The same goes for events on Saturday. Anyone who purchases a ticket to the wine tasting and cookoff can use their wristband to get into the entertainment tent that night. Otherwise, it's also a $3 cover charge.

Jim Shaneberger, The Randissimo Jazz Trio and The Greg Nagy Band will provide music from 1-5 p.m. Saturday. The Westside Soul Surfers will play from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The cost to enter the wine tasting and Salmon Cookoff on Saturday is $20. The ticket includes a commemorative wine glass, three starter wine/beer tastes and five food tickets.

There will be 10 contestants preparing gourmet salmon dishes.
Cisneros said they've ordered about 750 pounds of salmon for the cookoff.

The festival's Big King Fishing Contest on Saturday pulls in sports fishermen from up and down the Lakeshore for a chance to take the prize for the biggest salmon caught on Lake Michigan. Weigh-ins will be done as the boats come back to the docks. Weigh-ins will be completed by 1:30 p.m. and an awards ceremony is at 2 p.m.

In the meantime, kids can paint, fish and play games in the Kids Zone; and people can check out the art fair or try a little grape stomping on Saturday.

Sunday’s geocaching event aims to get people outside and into areas they might not normally visit, Cisneros said. Participants are asked to meet outside the Grand River Sailing Club (next to Chinook Pier) at noon to get their coordinates and a raffle ticket.

“This is a fun way to do special events,” Cisneros said.

Participants will need a handheld GPS device, she said. Many people already have the navigational applications on their smartphones.

Experienced geocachers will be on hand to help people who have never done it before.

Ten caches, or locations to find, have been set up in the Grand Haven area, Cisneros said. Participants are asked to return to the sailing club at 4 p.m.

Local merchants have donated 20 prizes for the raffle.

The Salmon Festival is being coordinated around Grand Haven’s ArtWalk, which kicks off Wednesday and runs through Oct. 6.

 

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