The Rapidian

Formal Wear At the Beach A Great Summer Activity

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Contains mature language

2009 Formal Wear at the Beach Attendees

2009 Formal Wear at the Beach Attendees /Jon Clay

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Nothing says summer in Grand Rapids like getting out of town for a day and heading to the beach in Grand Haven, a mere 30 miles away.  Five years ago, two locals had a different idea for going to the beach.  Friends and 76 Coffee coworkers Ryan Van and Rei Robinson were sitting around enjoying a couple of adult beverages when they set in motion plans to go to the beach in suits.  Thus, Formal Wear at the Beach was born.

Van says that there were only six people the first year, but the number of attendees has grown each year since.  While no official numbers exist, as many as 70 people are thought to have attended the fifth outing this past Sunday.

The agenda for the event is simple.  Attendees meet at 76 Coffee dressed in their Sunday finest to arrange for the carpool to Grand Haven State Park.  Once the group rendezvous at the pier, typical beach activities such as body surfing, frisbee playing and pier jumping ensue—the twist: all while wearing suits and dresses.  Cross-dressing has been known to occur.  Once the group has gotten their fill of the beach, everyone heads over for food and drink at the Kirby Grill.

One of the main draws of Formal Wear is the looks and comments the group receives from other beach attendees dressed in actual swim suits.  Many of the regular attendees are known for their sarcastic wit. When asked why they are dressed in formal and business attire at the beach, some have responded with, “This is my faith,” and, “We made our quarterly sales numbers.”

When asked why he continues to organize the yearly event, Van simply replied “Cause its fucking awesome.”

Van also wanted to make it clear that while the event's attendees tend to be customers and employees of 76 Coffee, the local business is not an official sponsor of Formal Wear at the Beach.

Disclosure: I am a regular attendee of the Formal Wear outings.

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Hey, Rapidian.  Up your photo size.  It's hard to make out detail in these tiny thumbnails.

Hi Jenn, click the image - it will expand!

  and a hamsome bunch they are!