They don't call Grand Haven Coast Guard City USA for nothing. It's a city that appreciates our active duty military members and the hard work they do, especially the Coast Guard.

The history of Grand Haven honoring the Coast Guard began with a parade that only included Coast Guard members. The citizens lined up and applauded to show their appreciation.

From there, the 10-day festival that we know and love emerged.

Festival director and retired Coast Guard member Mike Smith said the Coast Guard goes way beyond Station Grand Haven.

"The Coast Guard is a global organization," he said. "We are all over covertly and overtly doing missions from arctic exploration, drug interdiction, port security, not just boating safety and search and rescues. Big missions all around the world. Most people don't know that."

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