GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — While the Grand Parade for the 99th annual Coast Guard Festival isn’t scheduled to start until Saturday morning, hundreds of locals and visitors alike woke up early Friday morning to claim their spots along the parade route.

“We marked the last piece of real estate here for the Coast Guard parade,” said Ruth Konyndyk, who found the last 3-foot area of open grass just before 10:30 a.m. Friday. “This is tiny, tiny, tiny, but at least they can stand and watch the parade.”

Grand Haven’s blanket policy allows people to reserve public property for the parade and fireworks after 12:01 a.m. Friday. Any material placed before midnight is subject to removal by city crews.

“We were coming in last night and saw people already sitting out here. So we knew that if we wanted to do it, we’d have to do it now,” Konyndyk said.

Sue Miller, whose daughter’s home is along the parade route, told News 8 they got a letter from an aging neighbor requesting to reserve a spot in front of their home.

“They came over yesterday and marked it off,” Miller said. “My granddaughter is in the band, so we, the grandparents, get to sit up here and be in the shade and get to watch the whole parade. It’s very fun.”