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Great Lakes, Great Times

The 4th Annual Great Lakes Surf Festival in Muskegon, Michigan was one for the books! Not for terrible weather, which was the unfortunate case for the third iteration of the event, but for a most outstanding day all-around. 

The sun was beaming down across the broad sandy beach and clear water at Pere Marquette Beach, providing a quintessential summer backdrop for the hundreds of festival attendees, beach goers, and water lovers making a day of it. Offshore winds were blowing, creating the most perfectly sized, shapely waves for surfers of all skill levels to be able to go out and score fun rides. Live music provided a fitting soundtrack for milling around the festival grounds, perusing booths, and chatting up fellow beach and wave afficianados. Closer to shore, you could find people excitedly jogging in or tromping out of the water, boards under arm, while bystanders gazed out to the waves to watch people have a great time on our Great Lake. Some lucky landlubbers joined the wave-riding tradition that day, catching their first waves on a surfboard, and leaving the water with the tell-tale grin of someone who has caught the surfing bug. 

If someone from outside of the region was plucked from their couch and placed on this beach, they would have thought that they were at Doheny Beach in California!

At our Surfrider Foundation tent, we saw some friendly familiar faces and met some terrific people who cared about protecting our freshwater and shorelines; some from near (this being their home break), and some from afar (a recent transplant from O'ahu). We had one young water protector who came by for the express purpose of participating in our on-your-own beach cleanup, who brought back his finds in exchange for a cool sticker. (Every little piece collected makes the beach that much cleaner!) 

In the Great Lakes region, you can't count on waves and sun coinciding, let alone for an event that was scheduled months in advance, but Mother Nature sure delivered! We can't wait until next year!