Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay at its mooring at the Cleveland Moorings Facility. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Yaw)

A cardboard boat race will test the waters of this year’s aviation-themed Coast Guard Festival, festival officials told Grand Haven City Council on Monday night.

Festival Director Mike Smith presented an overview of the 2016 festivities in advance of council approving the activities and permits for the festival, which is scheduled for July 29 to Aug. 7.

The final approvals will be done at an upcoming City Council meeting.

The cardboard boat race course will be in front of Centennial Park at 1 S. Harbor Ave. and will be limited to 20 boats.

"Because it’s new, we want to make sure we manage it safely," said Festival Board President Scott Klaassen, who noted the success of the annual cardboard sled race during Winterfest.

Registration will soon be taken online at

The race will take place Saturday, July 30. There will be awards for fastest boat, best looking or most spectacular boat, most spectacular sinking, public favorite, and most creative design that honors the Coast Guard.

Also new this year will be a flea market on Seventh Street and visits by vintage aircraft, including a privately owned plane similar to those first used by the Coast Guard 100 years ago, Smith said.

Details are still being…

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