The Feast must go on

During the summer months in the Tri-Cities, residents can, on nearly any given weekend, find a worthwhile activity to attend — from a car show to a parade, from a craft fair to a fireworks display.
Mar 11, 2013


One of the most unique and historically significant ways to spend one of those weekends is to attend the Feast of the Strawberry Moon. The weekend-long event takes over Harbor Island each June and recreates life in the 1700s.

The Feast of the Strawberry Moon is a traditional celebration of the strawberry harvest by Native Americans who once lived here.

The festival gives us a glimpse of what it may have been like to live as a fur trader or a merchant at that time. The camp that springs up on Harbor Island allows visitors to see how a blacksmith worked his forge, how a sheep-herder handles his flock and how a trader might peddle his wares.

Visitors can try their hand at a variety of tasks, from candle making to axe throwing.

The unique event has been going on for more than a decade, and regularly draws large crowds of adults and eager youngsters alike.

Suddenly, there is a movement by the Tri-Cities Historical Museum, which organizes the event each summer, to discontinue the Feast.

Reasons given are varied, but include prohibitive cost, a lack of sponsorship and the desire to bring in several historians throughout the course of the year rather than pack everything into one weekend.

The previous director of the museum, Dennis Swartout, said the event was a money maker. But the current director, Kenneth Pott, contends that last year’s event lost money and eats up too much of the museum’s $25,000 budget.

We understand the challenges of putting on such an event, but we also hope that those involved realize how treasured this event is by this community.

We hope that those in charge at the museum would see the Feast of the Strawberry Moon for what it is — an entertaining and educational event that has proven to be extremely popular.

It’s our hope that some common ground can be found that would allow the Feast to go on for years go come.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Museum budget has to be a lot more than $25,000!!


I would think that leadership would do some fundraising. I think any of these casino owning tribes like FireKeepers' Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi or Gun Lake's, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians - Gun Lake Tribe, would be willing to donate to preserve this event. Did anyone ask? Sometime you just need to ask.


They would never give money to an event that is so historically inaccurate.


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