A Nostalgic Look at the Ladd’s Seaweed Festival

This Throwback Thursday, let’s stroll down memory lane to Ladd’s Seaweed Festival. In the late ’60s and ’70s, this gem brought the community together, sparking joy and camaraderie. Remember the excitement of the Greased Pig Chase? Or the unique flavor of Seaweed Chicken? Today, we’re celebrating these cherished moments. Revisit the days when simple joys created everlasting memories.

The Seaweed Festival, sponsored by Ladd’s Pharmacy to benefit the Churchill Athletic Association, was a summer spectacle on Henry Street (South of the Float Bridge)—the fourth annual event in 1967 burst with activities, from a baked goods sale to high-spirited games. Fast-forward to 1970, and the seventh festival had upped the ante with a vibrant parade, complete with fire trucks and fanciful floats.

The crowning of Miss Seaweed was a 1967 highlight. Five young women from the Athletic Association’s softball teams were representing the very heart of our community and vied for the title. This beloved tradition carried on into 1970, showcasing the immense talent and community pride that makes the history of Norton Shores so special—keeping in mind that the first City Charter was adopted in April of 1968.

The 1967 festival marked a new chapter, stretching to a two-day affair. It introduced a flea market, where locals could showcase their wares beneath the grand tent. This brought a unique shopping experience, adding an extra spark to the festival buzz.

By dusk, in 1970 the festival was in full swing, with Seaweed Chicken on everyone’s lips. The C-Weed Bingo was a hit, and the Talent Variety Show, with its 14 acts, drew crowds under the big top tent. These festivals were more than mere attractions; they were the lifeblood of the community. From the Peewee to the Pony League, residents of all ages gathered to celebrate and partake in a slice of true Americana.

Today, the Ladd’s Seaweed Festival lives on in our hearts as a testament to the power of community and celebration. It’s a reminder of a simpler time filled with genuine connections and homegrown fun while supporting the Churchill Athletic Association.

1970 Ladd's Seventh Seaweed Festival Program
4th Annual Seaweed Festival