7 Can’t Miss Events at the 10th Annual Grand Haven Salmon Festival

The Grand Haven Salmon Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary September 13-15, 2013 with a weekend full of activities that pay tribute to the area’s bountiful waterways as a natural resource, while coinciding with the region’s annual Salmon migration.

Below, Stefanie Herder of the Grand Haven Area Convention & Visitors Bureau highlights seven can’t miss events happening at this year’s festival. She also shares some festival tips so you can get the most out of your experience at the annual event.

Will you be at the Grand Haven Salmon Festival this weekend? Share with us in the comments section below!

Salmon Festival Fish Boil. Photo credit: Brian Fett.

1)    Friday Night Fish Boil
The Fish Boil is the kick-off event of the festival and is one of the crowd favorite from kids to Grandmas and Grandpas. The Grand Haven Sons of the American Legion are the chefs for the evening, cooking up their secret recipe of boiled salmon and accompaniments. Think tender, juicy salmon served with boiled potatoes, onions, and corn on the cob all covered in melted butter. Ah-Maze-Ing!

Festival Tip: Get your tickets in advance and arrive early. This is a popular event.

2)    Big King Fishing Contest
Before sunrise on Saturday, anglers head out to Lake Michigan in hopes of landing the largest King Salmon of the day with a chance at winning their share of the $2,500 in cash prizes. With local reports of monster salmon in the 25-30lb range, it’s sure to be a BIG year for the tournament.

Photo credit: Ed Post.

Festival Tip: Check out the Big King Weigh-In and awards ceremony around 1:30pm at Waterfront Stadium. If you haven’t seen a Lake Michigan salmon up close before, you won’t believe just how big they can get!

3)    KidZone
This free event on Saturday is chock-full of environmental and educational activities for the kiddos. Here they can have all sorts of fishy-fun by having their face painted, making cute crafts, playing games, and much more. Get up-close and personal with Michigan wildlife, including snakes, turtles, and birds. See live Michigan butterflies inside the Butterfly Tent. Kids can even catch their very own fish at the fishing pond. Again – it’s all free!

Festival Tip: Keep your eyes open for Smokey Bear who will be at this year’s event. It’s a great photo op for the whole family!

4)    Salmon Cook-Off & Wine/Beer Tasting
This premiere event takes place Saturday afternoon under a bright white tents along the Grand Haven harbor. Arrive hungry because you have the opportunity to taste specialty salmon dishes from local eateries. Every year we’re amazed with the creativity of the cook-off contestants who have produced dishes including salmon sushi, salmon sliders, salmon brats and even salmon poppers – salmon stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon. Who knows what the chefs will come up with this year, but we can’t wait to try them all! Over 50 Michigan wines and microbrews are available to sip and taste including wines from Chateau Chantel, St. Julian, and Fenn Valley wineries.

Photo credit: Brian Fett.

Festival Tip: Just like the Fish Boil, this is a popular event. Purchase your tickets in advance to save time and money. Advance ticket holders get to use the Fast Track entrance and skip the line. Kind of like a foodie amusement park.

5)    Purple Romp Grape Stomp
Grape stomping. Pretty much everyone has always wanted to try this. The Purple Romp Grape Stomp takes place during the Salmon/Wine Tasting event and is always a blast for participants and spectators. In this bracket style tournament, Romp Stompers face-off to become the Ultimate Grape Stomp champion.

Festival Tip: Get to the Salmon/Wine Tasting event early for a chance to get entered into the competition. Competitors are highly encouraged to come dressed in their best Stomp “uniform.”  

6)    Fall Harvest Entertainment Tent
Even after a full day of festival fun, there is still plenty to celebrate at the Fall Harvest Entertainment Tent on Saturday evening. Soul’d Out, a local favorite band, will be playing a variety of music including Rock, Jazz, Blues, and Funk. Don’t forget to bring your party pants because you are sure to dance all the way until the stroke of midnight.

Festival Tip: The infamous “King” Salmon and his Royal Court have always made their annual appearance at the Entertainment Tent. This is another fun photo op as you can imagine. 

7)    Geocaching Event
Sunday afternoon you can search for hidden treasures during the 2nd annual Salmon Festival Geocaching Event. All you need is a GPS or a smart phone with the Geocaching app, the special event cache coordinates, and you’re ready go. Teams of all sizes and ages are welcome to participate and everyone has a chance to win great prizes.

Festival Tip: If you haven’t tried geocaching before, sign-up for a free account at Geocaching.com and practice finding a few caches near you before the event. There are currently over 1,000 caches hidden all around the Grand Haven area.

Fun festival fact: As part of the Salmon Festival’s journey towards sustainability, the event uses all compostable and recycled products. In 2012, the event was able to reduce their total waste by over 50% compared to 2011’s festival. Almost 60% of last year’s total waste was either composted or recycled instead of going to the landfill. We have our goals set even higher for this year!

We hope you are able to be our guests at the 10th Anniversary of the Grand Haven Salmon Festival!

Stefanie Herder is the Customer Service Coordinator for the Grand Haven Area Convention & Visitors Bureau – The Grand Haven CVB has planned the Grand Haven Salmon Festival for the past 9 years. Stefanie was born and raised in the Grand Haven area and graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management. Stefanie and her husband, Josh, enjoy taking full advantage of four seasons of fun Pure Michigan has to offer including golf, kayaking, camping, snowboarding, and yes – fishing & wine tasting. 

Pure Michigan July 2013 Fan Photos

August is here and summer is still in full swing here in Pure Michigan! Since everyone has been out enjoying the sun and warmer weather, we wanted to take a look back at some of our favorite photos from July. Below is a gallery of just some of the stunning photos that our Pure Michigan Facebook community shared with us last month. See more on the Pure Michigan Flickr page.

Which photo from July is your favorite? If you have a photo to share with us, visit the Pure Michigan Facebook page and post it there.

Pure Michigan Fourth of July 2013 Events Roundup

Across Michigan, fireworks events have already started happening and people will be out and about celebrating the Fourth of July from now through next Thursday! With so many fun events happening across the state, there is still time to plan a great Independence Day adventure. Below is just a sampling of celebrations.

For a complete listing of events in Michigan visit www.michigan.org.

Fourth of July Celebration | Clawson
June 24-July 4, 2013, Clawson
In Clawson the celebration starts June 24. Events include an ice cream social, live music, parade, games and 5K run. The carnival midway opens on July 3 and on July 4 enjoy a pancake breakfast, arts and crafts event, fire department water battle, more entertainment and fireworks.

4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
July 4, 2013, St. Ignace
Combining the nostalgic sentiment of a small-town celebration with the picturesque backdrop of Lake Huron and Mackinac Island makes the 4th of July in St. Ignace something special. Watch the parade at 1 p.m., enjoy kid’s games and a community picnic at 2 p.m., and watch the fireworks over Moran Bay at dusk. Let us show you patriotism, St. Ignace style! For more information, call (888) 878-4462.

Grand Rapids 4th of July Fireworks
July 4, 2013, Grand Rapids
The Amway 4th of July Family Fireworks event is an annual favorite of upwards of 150,000 who come to downtown Grand Rapids to listen to great entertainment and enjoy a fireworks spectacular. The tradition continues on the lawn in front of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Patriotic music, dance and presentations mixed with great entertainment from local and national artists from 6 p.m. until the fireworks start. Fireworks will begin at 10:30. Visit the website for more information.

Fourth of July Celebration
July 4, 2013, Marshall
Celebrate Independence Day in Marshall! Festivities begin with the ‘Celebrate America’ parade at 10 a.m. Then, witness the annual flag rising, listen to the patriotic sounds of the Marshall Community Post Band and enjoy a traditional chicken dinner; it’s a true Independence Day celebration!

Frankfort’s Fourth of July Celebration
July 4, 2013, Elberta
Frankfort’s Annual 4th of July celebration includes: a parade, carnival, art in the park craft fair, sand sculpture contest on the Lake Michigan Beach,  BBQ and fireworks on Frankfort Beach at dusk (Approximately 10:30pm)! For more information, visit the website or call (231) 352-7251.

Traverse City 4th of July Fireworks
July 4, 2013, Traverse City
Enjoy a spectacular 4th of July fireworks display beginning at dark with great viewing from anywhere along the West Bay shoreline in Traverse City. Fireworks are expected to go from 10 p.m.  – 11 p.m.

Grand Haven 4th of July Fireworks
July 4, 2013, Grand Haven
The annual Grand Haven 4th of July Fireworks display lights up the night sky after the evening’s showing of the Grand Haven Musical Fountain. For more information call (616) 842-4499.

Fourth of July Celebration
July 4-6, 2013, Cedarville
Enjoy the spectacular view of fireworks over Cedarville Bay from Cedarville’s downtown waterfront park or the lawn of the Great Lakes Boat Building School on July 4. Come earlier in the day for the parade, kids games, hot dogs and burgers, Up in Smoke BBQ, races and contests and more. Wind down into early evening with music on the bay by Dance Commander DJ and a Jersey Mud eating contest. For more information, call (906) 484-3935.

Fourth of July – Harbor Springs
July 4, 2013, Harbor Springs
Events include a juried art fair, 3-mile and 10-mile run, parade, live music and fireworks. For event information, contact the Chamber at (231) 526-7999. See you on the Fourth and be sure to wear your red, white and blue!

Cadillac Independence Day Celebration

July 4-7, 2013, Cadillac
The event kicks off in the City Park with live evening entertainment. There will be the 2nd Annual Fire on Water (a tribute to our military past, present and future), and a full day of events including the Thunder on the LakeShore Motorcycle Show, Wrestling Extravaganza, children’s bounce houses, food & merchandise vendors, dunk tank, hot air balloon rides, community photo, ‘better than a water park’ event and an evening finale with the fireworks. For more information, visit the website or call (231) 775-0657.

How will you will be spending the 4th of July? Share with us below! For hundreds of more events and festivals happening around the state this month, visit michigan.org