Roscommon Co. Sheriff’s Office, State Police Patrol Waters at 34th Annual Bud Bash in Houghton Lake

“We’re not here to ruin peoples’ fun. We just want to keep everybody safe.”


The tradition brings thousands of people to Roscommon County, and with that comes a heavy police presence.

The 34th Annual Bud Bash wrapped up Saturday evening on Houghton Lake. The Roscommon County Sheriff’s Office says it made sure just about everyone in the department was on hand for the event.

Fun is not in short supply at Bud Bash.

“I mean I did not expect this many people, honestly. I didn’t expect this much music. It’s a really fun time,” says Brooke Buchanan, attending for the first time.

But with all of these people and lots of alcohol…

“We want people to have a good time, but we want them to respect our community and the laws,” says Roscommon County Sheriff Edward Stern.

The Roscommon County Sheriff’s Office, local township police departments and Michigan State Police worked as a team to make sure everyone was safe, while having fun.

“We start planning for this event months in advance and basically our presence here is try to keep people from getting out of line or committing crimes,” Stern said.

That means from the land to the water, there are plenty of eyes on the party.

“We have three patrol boats out here, we have at least two jet skis and our road patrol. We have a lot of extra people on shore,” deputy Michael Richardson said.

One deputy says they often see people getting hurt.

“We have several medical emergencies, people drinking too much, slips, falls, people getting cut up,” he said.

Because the hot sun and alcohol can be a dangerous combination for some people.

“People get drinking and they don’t hydrate themselves and they’re out in the sun all day long,” Richardson said.

But Brooke Buchanan says she and her friends are prepared.

“Yeah we got lots of water.”

The sheriff tells us there are arrests every year, but those numbers have gone down.

“I do believe that the presence here has a drastic effect on what goes on during the day,” Stern said.

“People are finally starting to understand, you can come out here and have fun, you just can’t get stupid,” Richardson said.

The people we talked to agree, the patrols put them at ease.

“It’s better to have you guys here, present in the moment in case of an emergency,” Buchanan said.