When a visiting tourist began heckling and laughing during last night’s performance of the Grand Haven Musical Fountain, he found out the hard way just how popular the city’s top tourist attraction remains after fifty-two years. According to numerous eyewitnesses, the man was asked politely to refrain from the disparaging remarks, and many people sent their most emphatic ‘shhhhhhh’ in his direction, but the derogatory diatribe continued undeterred. When the man shouted out, “This is totally lame!”, nearby revelers and Musical Fountain lovers attacked the man, and officials estimate more than twenty people participated in the subsequent beating, before Public Safety Officers arrived on the scene and had to continue beating the man for resisting arrest on charges of unwarranted rudeness and creating a public disturbance.
The inconsiderate fountain-hater, identified by Authorities as 32-year-old James Camperman, visiting from Indianapolis, IN, is currently listed in semi-critical but partially-stable condition at North Ottawa Community Hospital, where he has regained consciousness, and continues to receive treatment for a broken jaw, three broken ribs, and multiple cuts and contusions. A spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety has confirmed that Camperman is the only person facing charges over last night’s incident, saying, “We can’t officially condone the kind of mob-vigilantism that took place, but when someone disrespects a beloved icon like the Musical Fountain, they sort of deserve what they get. Mr. Camperman was lucky that most of the attackers were much older than he is, and hopefully he’s learned that if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all.”
According to sources at North Ottawa Community Hospital, Camperman cannot make any official comment while his jaw is wired shut, but doctors hope at least one of his thumbs will be useable for texting or Tweeting within a week.
Unfortunately, last night’s incident isn’t the first time the Musical Fountain has aroused passions leading to violence. No one old enough to remember will ever forget the carnage of July 4, 1977, when 6 people were killed and more than 200 were injured after a riot erupted over seating arrangements and the intense competition for best blanket-placement along the over-crowded riverbank. That tragedy became the subject of a 1979 film called, “Dancing Waters of Death”, which went on to win an Academy Award for Best Documentary Film of that year.
Built in 1962, the Fountain utilizes 8,000 feet of pipe and 1,300 nozzles, which spray 4,000 gallons of water per minute, dazzling and entertaining tens of thousands of visitors each summer with its elaborately choreographed spectacle of music, light and water. Nightly show times are as follows: