Feast of the Strawberry Moon and other springtime celebrations

Mark your calendars for these fun events along the lakeshore
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Photo courtesy of Feast of the Strawberry Moon.

The 18th century comes to life along the lakeshore with Feast of the Strawberry Moon – two days of historical reenactments, demonstrations, musical performances, and activities for all ages centered around the 1700s. Everything from the food and clothing to vendor wares are true to the period, allowing guests to soak up the experience of 18th-century living.

Colin LaMore, the president of the board for the West Michigan Historical Alliance, and a self-proclaimed history nerd, enjoys putting on an event that gives people perspective and a glimpse into the not-too-distant past of the Grand Haven area.

“There is loose history in the area, specifically in the mouth of the Grand River,” LaMore said. “The English, French, and local Ottawa met, spent a week trading with each other, shook hands and decided, ‘Hey, we’re not going to fight during this during this period of the strawberry moon.’ That’s what the event is based on, but we’ve expanded it a bit more to the West Michigan, Great Lakes frontier experience.”

Reenactors dress in the era-appropriate attire of the French, English and Native Americans while reenacting battles and demonstrating 18th-century cooking and craftsmanship, like woodcarving and blacksmithing, for guests to see.

 

Battle re-enactments provide entertainment at Feast of the Strawberry Moon. Photo courtesy of the Feast of the Strawberry Moon.

 

“A lot of reenactors for the Native Americans are members of local tribes,” LaMore said. “Then we also have some that come from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. A vast majority of them got into reenacting based on their interest in their own family history.”

Whether you want to see how chocolate was made in the 1700s, browse the handmade wooden toys and gifts, or participate in a game of lacrosse (a game with origins in Native American tribes), Feast of the Strawberry Moon has something for everyone.

Check out Feast of the Strawberry Moon, June 8-9 on Harbor Island in Grand Haven.

To the south, Pride celebrations abound. Commencing on June 1 in Douglas with Pride in the Park 2024, the festivities feature an LGBTQ Political Update session and a Pride Bowling Party. Subsequent events in Saugatuck, Grand Haven, and Holland promise a vibrant tapestry of inclusivity, education, and celebration, showcasing the region’s commitment to diversity and unity.

The 21st Wooden and Classic Boat Show kicks off the weeklong Spring Lake Heritage Festival on Saturday June 8. From teak to antique, these vessels will be on view 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Mill Point Park. Next up is Senior Day, Monday, June 10, held at Spring Lake Presbyterian Church, 9 a.m. – noon.

The Wooden and Classic Boat Show marks the start of the Spring Lake Heritage Festival on June 8, 2024. Photo courtesy of Spring Lake Heritage Festival.

The festival’s annual Artisan Market offers a treasure trove of unique finds over a two-day period at Spring Lake Harvest Church June 11 and 12, noon – 6 p.m. The festival concludes with the SL Heritage Festival Car Show at All Shores Wesleyan Church, June 14, 5 – 9 p.m. The night’s fun includes trophy and door prize presentations, karaoke, concessions and more!  Family Fun Night on June 12, 3–8 p.m. and a Corn Hole Tournament scheduled for June 13, 4 – 8:30 p.m. are also on the docket (location TBD). Past years’ activities have included fireworks, a 5k and a fun run. For updates to the festival schedule, visit slheritagefestival.com.

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Ever since Pasha Shipp could talk, she's been dreaming up colorful stories. Fantasy creatures, mysterious kingdoms, enchanted forests, you name it. As she reached adulthood, she decided to take the magic out of her head and put it down on paper. Pasha has been writing for Grand Rapids Magazine since November 2015, and has loved every minute of it. She has a master's degree in Communication and a bachelor's degree in Film Studies from Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University respectively. When she isn't daydreaming and writing stories for the magazine, she's exploring the many hidden treasures of Grand Rapids with her fiancé.
Lisa Enos is the editor of Grand Rapids Magazine. Email Lisa at lenos at hour-media dot com.