Something So Special

Do you share the feeling to tell the world when you unexpectedly stumble across something so special that you can’t wait to relive the experience again and again? Well, my “something so special” took place last summer on beautiful Mackinac Island

After weeks of planning a unique and family-friendly vacation, we made it to Mackinac Island. My family was finishing a wonderful evening bike ride, listening to the sounds of the gulls and loons over the lake, the water lapping along the shore…sounds that signal the quiet and comfort of the sun readying for sunset. We pulled into town to have dinner along the water when we saw the hustling of people toward Marquette Park.

This park is beautifully positioned in the heart of downtown, at the base of historic Fort Mackinac. A prominent statue in tribute to Father Marquette, a Great Lakes explorer, stands tall at the center of the park, overlooking the harbor. What we saw and what we began to hear was the transformation of a lovely day on the island to one that made my family feel at ease as we were welcomed as part of this community.

Blankets and lawn chairs covered the lawn surrounding the revered statue. Picnics had been spread (many of which had been thoughtfully assembled by island restaurants or Doud’s Market). As if in a movie, the show started as the sun began to set. Music flowed…live folk with rock, country, and blues….a feeling of true Americana. We sat on the lawn and became immersed in the whole experience. We sang along to songs we knew, and engaged in conversation with others.

We are so happy to know that this summer of 2012, Music in the Park continues on Thursday evenings on Mackinac Island. We got on mackinacartscouncil.org for the complete listing of concerts and artists for this summer. Wow, the magic of Mackinac Island continues for us. Can’t wait to be a part of the magic again!

See you soon MI!
- an anonymous fan of Michigan

Contact the Mackinac Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for information on where to stay and play.

From Our Community: Why is Michigan the Real Mitten State?

“The Great Mitten debate,” “Mittengate” and “The Battle for the Mitten” are just some of the interesting names popping up from the fallout from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s decision to put up an image of a somewhat stretched-out mitten for its new winter activity section on its website. That move has sparked a wave of pride and defense from Michiganders and has gained national attention. We’ve started a website to help determine who truly is the mitten state that you can find on michigan.org.

There have been hundreds of comments and Tweets we’ve read responding to the question we posed today on our Facebook and Twitter pages asking: “Why is Michigan the real mitten state?” Here are a few we came across. Thanks to all who responded!

“Because when Paul Bunyan was chopping down trees in the winter he dropped his mittens and over time it became the state of Michigan!!!! Why do you think we have statues of Paul Bunyan all over in the state???” –Mary Doyle on Facebook

“Their [Wisconsin’s] attempt looks like they pulled a mitten over the top of some guy wearing a cheesehead hat.” –Brent L. Larson on Facebook

“I had hoped to support Wisconsin’s mittenosity, but after wasting some time in Photoshop, I must concede that the lower peninsula of Michigan requires the least hand deformation to wear.” –Rexella Van Impe on michigan.org

“I knit a mitten once that looked kind of looked like Wisconsin. I didn’t knit the second one.” –  @JulieKay0919 on Twitter

“Dear Wisconsin, Identity check: You are not a mitten. But as they say, imitation is the greatest form of flattery. #PureMichigan” –@mattfrendewey on Twitter

“We have an attitude and we show it. Everyone can “talk to the mitten” if you wanna dish Mich!!!” –Cheryl Love Taylor on Facebook

“Because it’s the only state where you might have to wear mittens in May, but may NOT need them on Thanksgiving?” –Kathy Wolf Smyser on Facebook

“You know, this mitten thing could really take off!” – @MKelto on Twitter

“If you look at the shape, it’s obviously a mitten. No matter where you go in the U.S.A. if you say you’re from Michigan people get it when you hold up your hand and show them where you’re from. No other state can you do that without confusing the crap out of someone.” – Kristen Wheeler on Facebook

“Because, even on the map, our hand is raised in greeting hello!” – Lois Payette on Facebook

“I don’t want to get into it. Talk to the hand.” – Sue Stuever Battel on Facebook

 

USA Today: Detroit will lead nation for visitor growth

USA Today Friday reported TravelClick estimates that Detroit will lead the nation in travel growth over the next 12 months, predicting a 22 percent increase in occupancy rates between now and Sept. 30, 2012.

“We’re well ahead of the curve from a national improvement standpoint,” Thomas Conran, principal of Greenwood Hospitality Group, owner of The Henry hotel in Dearborn (the former Ritz-Carlton) told USA Today. “There’s an energy that this hotel has not seen for many, many years.”

Conran credited the increase in volume to Michigan’s economic recovery, the renewed strength of the state’s auto industry, to the state’s Pure Michigan campaign and to the recent strength of Detroit’s resurgent sports teams. Meanwhile, at a Minnesota jobs summit, opinion leaders suggested one possible way to fuel their own economic growth might be to come up with their own version of Michigan’s efforts to extend the Pure Michigan brand to market Michigan.

Minnesota House Majority Leader Rep. Matt Dean, the only Republican lawmaker at the summit, said Minnesota needs a “unified brand image” like Pure Michigan to bring business and government under a common theme to market their state to the world the way Michigan has.