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Grand Haven catwalk to be illuminated for the first time in 3 years

“It’s a ‘once in a lifetime’ to come see this light back up."

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — (Grand Haven Tribune) - The night sky will light up around Grand Haven’s south pier during a “once in a lifetime” event Monday.

After approximately three years without them, the lights along the pier catwalk will brighten up the harbor once again.

A lighting ceremony is planned for Monday, Sept. 30, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the entrance to the pier. The festivities will include music from the Grand Haven High School band; an airshow by the Hooligans, a group of pilots who will fly down the channel and entertain guests; fireworks; and, of course, illuminating the catwalk.

“It’s going to be a very special event,” said Erin Turrell, who has spearheaded the efforts to save the catwalk. “It’s a ‘once in a lifetime’ to come see this light back up. We are expecting many people to come and celebrate the majesty.”

Turrell said she received a call from Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis in 2015 asking if she would lead efforts to keep the catwalk, which was removed in 2016 for a pier reconstruction project.

“It’s a project that I didn’t completely understand the magnitude of, and that quickly changed to a feeling of complete commitment without reservation that we were going to put the catwalk back where she belongs,” Turrell said. “For me, this has been a four-year journey, and at the end of the day, she’s up and ready to be enjoyed again. The lighting is the icing on the cake, the ‘yes, we did this.’”

RELATED: Grand Haven to host event to celebrate completion of south pier catwalk

The advice Turrell said she has for others is if they have the opportunity to work on a project bigger than themselves, they need to it.

“I’m really glad to be a portion of that history,” she said. “It’s really quite an honor.”

However, she said bringing the catwalk back was a community effort. The campaign raised more than $1 million.

The work to reinstall the catwalk was completed in August.

“It is remarkable that we have the catwalk back and looking better than ever,” McGinnis said. “It is sturdier and stronger than it was before. To light it up as a community is emblematic of the community spirit that drove the fundraising – we all did it together, so let’s all light it up together.”

Parking for this event will be available throughout Grand Haven State Park. Grand Haven’s Harbor Transit also will be available for attendees.


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