As I perform some much needed updates to Absolute Michigan, please enjoy one of my all-time favorites photos, Racing Down the Dunes by Diann.
Since the beginning of 2004, Absolute Michigan has published more or less daily features, reporting on the crash of the auto industry, the birth of Pure Michigan and countless other topics, along the way publishing thousands of features designed to help you get more out of Michigan. We’ve also built the largest curated database of Michigan links anywhere and the largest Michigan photo group.
Over the years, we’ve tried various strategies to pay for all of this. While some have shown promise, none can really be said to be successful, and all have relied on hard work with little return other than the satisfaction of a job well done.
We’re not throwing in the towel just yet, but we are going to take the summer off and work on a new plan for Absolute Michigan.
January is Ski Month on Absolute Michigan, and all month long we are celebrating skiing in Michigan with original articles and features on downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding along with photos and videos that take you up close and personal with the Michigan ski experience. We’ll also have features on Michigan ski pioneers and the rich history of skiing in the Great Lakes State, and from our friends at Seeking Michigan and the Archives of Michigan we’ll have a feature on the Suicide Hill ski jump in Ishpeming.
At the center of it all is a giveaway of 4 pairs of lift tickets to 4 great Michigan ski resorts:
- Crystal Mountain (click for giveaway details)
- Shanty Creek (giveaway coming next week!)
- The Homestead (giveaway posted Jan 17)
- Boyne Mountain (giveaway Jan 24)
All you need to do to enter is be on our email list – sign up at the bottom of the article! We’re not alone in celebrating skiing this month. Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed January as Discover Michigan Snow Sports Month, citing the fact that we are home to more downhill ski areas than any other state and encouraging Michigan residents and visitors to use this month to take advantage of it.
The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association has jumped on board, offering a program called Discover Michigan Skiing that will give you a beginner lesson, ski or snowboard rental equipment and a beginner-area ski lift pass or cross-country trail pass at 23 Michigan ski facilities! It’s available through January 31 and costs just $20 for cross-country skiing; $30 downhill skiing and $40 snowboarding. The program is open to everyone 7 years and older and you can get all the details at their website goskimichigan.com. While you’re there, don’t miss Cold Is Cool – a promotion that gives every Michigan 4th Grader FREE skiing at participating Michigan resorts.
All in all, it’s a great month to be skiing in Michigan. We’ll take you out to the slopes right now with the masters of ski videos, the good people at Warren Miller Entertainment and their feature on Boyne Mountain, one of the early and present leaders of the Michigan ski industry.
Higher Grounds Trading Co., was voted one of the top Michigan businesses to watch in 2010 and has been a big part of getting the nonprofit On the Ground off the ground. On the Ground is involved in a variety of projects including the Chiapas Water Project, which brings clean drinking water to coffee growing regions in Mexico; the Run Across Ethiopia, which raises funds for Ethiopian education projects including the construction of schools in Ethiopian coffee-growing communities; and their latest endeavor – the Run Across Palestine. The Run is scheduled for February 2012 and will take place in olive growing centers of Palestine. Funds raised will support the purchasing and planting of thousands of olive trees and provide scholarships for the children of Palestinian olive farmers. Learn all about them and donate at the link above.
The projects of On the Ground share a common theme: supporting the farmers who supply fair-trade, gourmet goods by building infrastructure and capacity in their communities, and Higher Grounds is offering up some great gifts to celebrate the On the Ground’s projects:
- Coffees for Change support the Chiapas Water Project, which was founded in 2005 after a group of local (Northern Michigan) residents visited Chiapas Mexico and witnessed the illness and poverty perpetuated by lack of access to potable water.
- Seth & May’s “New Flower” CD was inspired and written as part of the The Run Across Ethiopia. Seth and May played in the schools, learned songs and dance moves from the children, learned Ethiopian scales and melodies from incredible ethio-jazz masters, shared our music along the journey, sang for the runners, played for the people and ultimately wrote an entire album inspired by the experience.
- Fair Trade Olive Oil benefits Palestinian olive farmers and celebrates the Run Across Palestine.
- Finally, their Coffee Cards are made by the Michigan nonprofit Paperworks Studio which are produced by artists who have special needs and disadvantages.
All you need to do to enter is to be on our email list – sign up in the blue box above! Here’s a cool behind the scenes video of the recording of New Flower that you might enjoy!
The perfect piece for 4th of July – have a great weekend!
Thomas Moran, owner of Moran Ironworks in Onaway, expresses his patriotism in a big way and not just on the 4th of July. His giant sheet metal head of George Washington can be seen on M-68 just outside that town year round, as can his Liberty Bell in Onaway and bald eagle in Alpena.
A self-taught artist and son of a lumberjack, Moran learned to fabricate metal in high school shop class, and kept it up as a hobby. He began creating the massive sculptures to spice up Onaway’s Independence Day parade, and now his works are sprinkled around Michigan. A giant gun, water pump and the World’s Largest Chain Saw decorate the parking lot of Da Yooper Store in Ishpeming, while Cheboygan boasts an oversized cantilever hook, fresh water aquarium, globe and ax.
Moran’s work is not to be taken lightly; his head of Washington weighs 6,000 pounds. The curly metal strands of Washington’s metal wig weight 2,000 pounds alone. Fans of roadside art all hope Moran keeps creating these well-crafted eye-poppers. Moran says his inspiration is just something inside of him.
See it all at Moran Iron Works!
We had some great entries from individuals and organizations, but our panel selected Eric Campbell of Traverse City who wrote:
As a winner of the Festival Summer, I would chronicle the events on both my personal and company Facebook pages and blog. As the owner of a design firm (Tandem) and one-time music publication creator, I have an eye (and the camera) for good photography and can create well-written and compelling copy.
Would be stoked to win and would do the contest justice in quality coverage!
OK Eric, bring it!! And thanks everyone for your entries!
Absolute Michigan wants you!
In addition to rocking the giveaways all summer long through Festival Summer, a number of our event partners are going the extra mile to provide one lucky winner with 2 FREE passes to every one of the 11 fantastic Michigan festivals listed below!
Michigan’s many festivals and events continue to be a bright light, celebrating what makes Michigan a place we all love.
Because these events are going the extra mile, we sought someone (or a group of someones) who would go the extra mile to share the fun of Festival Summer.
Our team of reviewers will look the emails we’ve received over and choose a winner, so be creative! If you want, feel free to post your entry or your thoughts on the Absolute Michigan Facebook page.
Here are the events included in the package!
- Thunder Over Michigan – July 23 & 24
- Maker Faire Detroit – July 30 & 31
- Paella In The Park - August 5
- Dunegrass Music Festival – August 5-7
- Farmfest – August 11-14
- Traverse City Wine & Art Festival – August 20
- Hoxeyville Music Festival – August 19 & 20
- Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival – August 26 & 27
- Porcupine Mountain Music Festival – August 26-28
- Crystal Mountain’s Taste of Michigan – September 3
- Midwest Fest 2011 – September 28-October 1
- …and Absolute Michigan reserves the right to add prizes.
Check Festival Summer for information and all these and many more great events. As you can see, some of the events are over the same weekend, so you better share it with your friends so you have someone to take any extra tickets! And remember, even if you don’t win the big prize, you’re still eligible for every one of our giveaways. And because we want to stay connected, you are eligible to win more than once.
Questions? Post them or email them and we’ll post answers below.
Do I have to go to all the festivals?
No. Some of them are on the same day, and while our team of Michigan experts assures us that someone could attend and enjoy all events, that’s a lot to expect. Share your good fortune with someone who will report for you.
Can more than one person enter?
You may enlist and propose the support of a team, company, nonprofit, friends, family and robots. We will give the tickets to a single person though.
What are you looking for?
Absolute Michigan is all about getting the most out of Michigan. We’re hoping you’ll get out there and enjoy these great events, and that you’ll share them with our readers and the world at large. These events are cool because Michigan is cool.
What we’re asking for is that you share your experience. Be it photos, video, observations, tweets, updates, artwork or whatever you think tells it best. It doesn’t have to be wall to wall coverage and it doesn’t have to be flashy.
In our latest Driving Michigan episode, we visited Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids and got a tour from head brewer Jeremy Kosmicki. Click the 320p at the bottom right and choose 720p HD for the best quality or watch on YouTube.
Driving Michigan is Absolute Michigan’s new show that explores the state of Michigan and the people who are moving us towards the future. It’s hosted by Seth Bernard, a musician of Earthworks Music with a passion for Michigan. The video was shot by Ken Lake of Mythic Michigan.
Sometime over the weekend, the 100,000th photo was added to the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr.
One hundred thousand.
What an amazing gift you nearly 2400 photographers have shared with Absolute Michigan and Michigan in Pictures over the last four and a half years. Whether it’s dandelions or Detroit Lions, hill sides or mud slides, if it’s Michigan, chances are we have a photo of it.
This is something so big that we really need more than a simple blog post to celebrate it, so we’re announcing the Absolute Michigan Summer Photo Celebration in which we’ll try and give you Absolute Michigan pool photographers as much recognition and as many prizes as we can. Follow us all summer long for themed photo contests, special offers from Michigan businesses and lots of photographic fun!
We’re opening with the Michigan Business Photo Contest for photos that promote Michigan businesses or buying from Michigan businesses.
You may submit up to 3 photos that show any facet of any Michigan-based business or somehow promote Michigan businesses and buying from Michigan businesses.
Please add them to the Michigan Business Photo Contest group (you can also post small versions & comments about them here!)
The contest deadline is Monday, June 14th and the winner will receive:
- One year Michigan SEO and Category Sponsorship package on Absolute Michigan ($1250 value)
- A Private Label Radio Program that tells the story of your business courtesy of Vertio
- 2 pounds of coffee (your choice) from Higher Grounds Trading Company
- … plus other business related prizes that we can find between now and June 7th!
This prize is only the first – stay tuned to Absolute Michigan all summer long for more great contests!
The pool is where we get most of the photos for Absolute Michigan and Michigan in Pictures and it’s not at all a stretch to say that without Sam and the other 1,999 shutterbugs who have contributed almost 80,000 pictures, Absolute Michigan would be the barest shadow of itself. Thank you all.
If you’re a photographer, click that link above to join them and make sure to click through and check out other work by the photographer when you see a photo you like on Absolute Michigan. If you just like photos, why not check out the slideshow from the Absolute Michigan group below!
Welcome to a very special Photo Friday on Absolute Michigan, the 75,000th photo in the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr!! I can’t tell you how amazingly cool it is that so many people have graciously allowed us to use their photos to help tell the stories of Michigan. Thank you, all of you.
[ JARED ] (Jared Fossum) says that photography is a passion of his and he posts photos of anything that he thought was interesting or for a moment made him stop, look, and think about it.
Check out his Flickriver.