A boat parade, the  washing of the lighthouse and a blessing for safe travel sets the summer season afloat in the largest beach town in West Michigan.

Maybe you've heard of the Blessing of the Bikes in Baldwin, Michigan each May? Since 1972, motorcycles make the pilgrimage to this small town for a weekend of music, motors and camaraderie. Between 5,000 and 10,000 bikes roll into town each year for the annual rite of spring.

Muskegon puts their own twist on the event with the Blessing of the Boats on Sunday, May 30 to begin the summer season on Lake Michigan. This nautical festival was started in 2005 and promises big fun on the big lake. Boat owners work to get everything in ship shape to join a boat parade even land-lubbers will love. The ceremonial washing of the lighthouse is next and tourists and townies can even take a lighthouse climb as the tower is open for tours. Then, the boats file by the Aquastar cruise ship for a ceremonial blessing.

Boat drinks for everyone!

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If you are making last-minute plans for Memorial Day weekend or planning a summer vacation relatively close to home, explore Muskegon's 26 miles of Lake Michigan beach, over 60 miles of trails, more than a dozen museums and historical attractions, three state parks and Michigan's Adventure. They're calling the town "Michigan's next 'it' destination.

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