Rotary Club to assume leadership of annual Saugatuck Venetian Festival


SAUGATUCK — A new organization will take over leadership of the popular Saugatuck Venetian Festival.

The Rotary Club of Saugatuck-Douglas will plan the event, at least for 2023, following an unanimous vote on Jan. 13 from its board of directors. The decision comes after the event’s previous organizer, Cow Hill Yacht Club, relinquished control in a letter to Saugatuck City Council.

The club cited increased complexity and costs associated with organization, expressing hope the event could transition to “another charitable organization with the resources to organize and manage it in the future.”

The Rotary Club decided unanimously to accept one year of provisional leadership.

“While it is our intention to organize the event indefinitely, in 2023 we also wish to evaluate the return on investment from the festival and work with you (members) and various partners around town to optimize the event for the future, if possible,” the organization wrote in a letter to members.