Posted by: Kath Usitalo | January 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Michigan: Brother, Can You Spare A Piece Of Cake?

1839 pocket travel map of Michigan, just 2 years after it became the 26th state in the Union. Published by Augustus Mitchell (courtesy the Archives of Michigan)

There isn’t much to celebrate in the State Capital lately, so you might want to seize the opportunity to party at the Statehood Day Celebration at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing this Saturday, January 23. Admission is free.

The festivities, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., include presentations, crafters, re-enactors and music to salute the 26th state to join the Union, which took place on January 26, 1837.

The first 100 (count ’em, one hundred) visitors on Saturday will score a slice of birthday cake, so if you love icing you may want to set up camp outside of the museum the night before to ensure you nab a corner piece.

Really now. I know the budget is tight, but would it break the bank to offer at least 173 pieces of cake—one for each year of statehood?

"The Boy Governor" Stevens T. Mason led Michigan into statehood when he was barely in his 20s (Archives of Michigan photo)

Speaking of budgets, the Capital City offers some free and inexpensive ways to spend a day (or two).

The State Capitol building is not open to the public on weekends, but you can take exterior photos of the domed landmark, which was completed in 1879. (Tours of the government hotseat are free Monday-Friday.)

After you’ve had enough history, visit the animals at Potter Park Zoo; admission is free through February; winter hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Admission is free to both Michigan State University’s museum of natural science and culture, and Kresge Art Museum.

Spend a Chili Winter Evening at the Woldumar Nature Center: The annual event includes a horse-drawn sleigh ride, chili supper, bonfire, Barn Dance, and more all for just $15 adults; less for seniors and kids (Weather dependent; alternate date January 30. To check on status of event phone 517-322-0030). Paige and I visited this park one summer day and really liked the grounds, trails, 1860 log cabin and huge dairy barn. This sounds like a cool event.

Be sure to make time for breakfast or lunch at the Golden Harvest in Old Town Lansing. It’s value eating—like 2 meals for the price of one.



  1. Good to know….I’m going to see if any of my students know that it’s Michigan Statehood Day! How’d your cornbread turn out?

    • Just made the cornbread tonight, and it is FABulous. I keep snitching little slices, thinking it won’t add up to me eating the whole dang pan! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks Kath.
    And even though it’s not free, you can catch the Harlem Globetrotters that night at 7 at the Breslin Center at Michigan State University! A fun family time!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: