14th annual Salmon Festival begins Friday

Alex Doty • Sep 12, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Get ready to enjoy a weekend full of food, Michigan wine and beer, cider, live music, art, family fun, and more at the 14th annual Grand Haven Salmon Festival.

Most events take place in the Municipal Marina parking lot area on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16.

Hosted by the Grand Haven Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the festival pays tribute to the area’s bountiful waterways as a natural resource, while coinciding with the region’s annual salmon migration. The visitors bureau says the festival has been a “zero waste to landfill” event for the past four years — a feat accomplished by using compostable materials and recycling.

“I like that we are the first certified sustainable event in Michigan,” said Marci Cisneros, executive director of the local visitors bureau. “We worked hard to accomplish that goal and we’re hoping other events will follow our lead.”

Last year, 97 percent of the festival’s waste was composted or recycled, and the remaining 40 pounds of refuse was sent to the waste-to-energy incinerator at Chef Container. Officials say this year’s event will continue toward their sustainable journey, and will use compostable materials made of wheat grass and corn.

Festival organizers say they have a full plate of fun planned for Salmon Festival, beginning Friday evening.

Kicking off the festivities is the Friday night Fish Boil. The family-friendly event takes place 4:30-7:30 p.m., with musical entertainment until 8:30 p.m. by Just Joe.

At 6:30 a.m. Saturday, the Grand Haven Steelheaders’ Fishing Contest will begin.

The 5K/10K Salmon Run returns this year, presented by the Grand Haven Young Professionals. The run starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 527 Taylor Ave.

The KidZone is back from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with face-painting, a live fishing pond, Smokey the Bear, arts and crafts, a fishing simulator, and more. Art will also be available to view or purchase from local and regional artists from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

From 1-5 p.m. Saturday, the Michigan Wine, Beer and Hard Cider Tasting and Salmon Cookoff will take place in the Tasting Pavilion. The event includes live music on the waterfront and the annual Grape Stomp Competition at 2 p.m.

On Sunday, the final day of the festival, a fall hike at the Kitchel-Lindquist Dunes is set for 2-4 p.m. Hikers are asked to meet at the Dr. Mary Kitchel outdoor classroom.

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