Michigan Week, an annual tribute to the best of the Great Lakes State, began in 1954 as a way to promote state pride among citizens and to celebrate the rich heritage and unique features that make Michigan special.
Retired Michigan Week director Jim Schultz wrote an article on Michigan Week (PDF) a few years back that is worth revisiting. It tells how Michigan Department of Economic Development director Don Weeks (who was also instrumental in the creation of the National Cherry Festival and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame) started this annual tradition.
It was the intent of the committee that Michigan Week would begin within state government. The first Michigan Week in 1954 used the tag line “This is YOUR Michigan!” and prided itself as “a seven-day celebration for 7 million citizens.”
Spring was chosen over fall as the right time of year for Michigan Week so that summer tourism could be promoted. The inaugural Michigan Week began with the first week of May, gradually giving way to mid-May as northern communities complained that snow curtailed a number of outdoor Michigan Week activities.
Each day of Michigan Week was given a name that celebrated a particular reason or resource that made Michigan a special place to live, work or raise a family … Spiritual Foundations Day, Mayors Exchange Day, Hospitality Day, Our Livelihood Day, Education Day, Our Heritage Day and New Frontiers Day.
It is easy to take part in Michigan Week. In fact here are 25 easy ways you can do so. There are also ways to celebrate Michigan Week with your family, in the classrooms, at colleges and universities and also for businesses.
Whether you are visiting our site from out of state and wonder why Michigan is a such a special and cool place to visit or you are a resident that just needs a refresher course then check out the must see – Get to Know Michigan – Facts, History and Trivia.
A Michigan Week Youth Photo Contest was recently held and invited young photographers around the state to capture views of their favorite historic sites. You can check out the winners and all the runners-up right here!
Michigan Week 2009 begins this Saturday (May 16) and you can learn about the celebration at the State of Michigan’s Michigan Week page and if you have any ideas for how to celebrate Michigan, post them in the comments below!