It’s time to cast our net around the state and see how the media is promoting the big travel weekend.
The Lansing HUB has decided that the best way to encourage travel given the high price of gas is to focus on short trips with their One Gallon Getaways. They size them for gas guzzlers (Sleepy Hollow State Park, Laingsburg – north of Lansing), standard rides (Ionia Recreation Area, Ionia – midway between Lansing and Grand Rapids) and green machines like hybrids and motorcycles (Kensington Metropark, Milford – east of Lansing, north of Detroit). I guess if you’re thinking about letting high gas prices leave you couch-bound, this is a good option. Still, it’s always harder to get people OUT of their routines than to give them reasons to stay in them.
The weather forecasters have been doing their usual Memorial Weekend best to discourage travel. We started the week with them predicting (I think) blizzards for the weekend. The forecast has gotten progressively better, sort of like a Michigan wine, to the point where the forecasters will grudgingly admit that while you may still want to get that dogsled team or ark ready, we will indeed see lots of sun and temps closer to 70Ëš than 12 below zero. Unfortunately, many people have already made (or unmade) their plans. Almost every year I point this trend out, to no avail. For some reason, weather folks seem to feel that it’s an apocalypse if the weather isn’t sunny and 75. Last time I looked, we were in Michigan, not Arizona.
Not every organization is conspiring against travel. From the State of Michigan: Beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 25, and continuing until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, MDOT is suspending road work wherever possible, in anticipation of the estimated 1.1 million motorists who will travel Michigan roads for the holiday weekend.
The state’s Travel Michigan web site lists a whole bunch of Michigan Memorial Weekend travel ideas, highlighting Michigan’s Thumb and Sunrise Side, the west shore and the Upper Peninsula. They also have a full list of holiday weekend events. In addition to Memorial Day parades all over the state, they include the Memorial Day Weekend Antique Show at Castle Farms near Charlevoix, the Tawas City Shoreline Arts & Crafts Show and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival
The Freep has an article listing metro area Memorial Weekend events including services, parades and flyovers and the Detroit News is apparently waiting until Friday.
We had an had an article on poet Will Carleton’s visit to Arlington Cemetery that includes a lot of Memorial Day information from Michigan History Magazine. You can also read about Michigan’s first Memorial Day on Absolute Michigan, and check out this post about the Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Detroit from Michigan in Pictures.