Discover Blooms & Beyond at Garden and Patio Tour

The Old Town Design Committee and OTCA is presenting the 3rd annual “Old Town in Bloom and Beyond, Patio and Garden Tour” on Saturday, July 7, from 12-6 p.m. Over a dozen beautiful patios and gardens will be open to the public. Join us to hear the stories behind them and get a glimpse of beautiful areas you’d never know existed in an urban neighborhood! This year the scope of the tour will go “BEYOND” Old Town to showcase a few gardens in other parts of the Mid-Michigan area.

Rain date is Sunday, July 8. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 the day of the tour. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit If you have a patio or garden that you would like to show off on the tour, please contact Event Coordinator Michael Beebe at 517-372-1348 or


By Michael Beebe, OTCA design committee

Apologies for the late notice, but we are postponing our Old Town Spring Cleanup date due to impending rain and storms. We are rescheduling for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to plant flowers and mulch. If you have any questions or would like to take part, please contact Shannon Murphy at
Thank you for understanding and I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

Old Town is your place for a cool treat on a hot day. We have three really great options.

Arctic Corner has been on the corner of Center St. and Cesar Chavez Ave. for 11 years. But their predecessors have been there since 1958. It’s hard to drive by on a hot day and not see a crowd because of their delicious soft serve products including cones, sundaes, milk shakes, frosties and more. There are always interesting flavors of the day as well.

Scoops is located on the corner of Cesar Chavez Ave. and Capitol Ave. in the historic Sinclair Gas Station building. This is the place to go for hard-packed MSU Dairy ice cream. They offer a myriad of flavors and ingredients in the ice cream and then create magnificent cones, sundaes, smoothies, frappes and more!  My fav is a fresh warm brownie sundae with D’Antonio chocolate ice cream. And there is a HUGE assortment of cones to load up.

Ozone’s Brewery is the least likely place for ice cream! They have a freezer case chock full of “Ice Box” brand Michigan made gourmet ice cream bars that blow away ANYTHING you’ve seen before in a bar EVER. For example, my favorite is “Green Dragon”: Oreo and Butterfinger cookie layer, mint chocolate chip ice cream, semi-sweet chocolate, topped with Oreo pieces and Butterfinger crumbs. A welcome treat after some spicy pizza or if you’re not in the mood for some amazing beer.


–by Mark Chamberlin, OTCA org committee

Winter is finally over! Annual Spring Cleanup Day is May 19 beginning at 10 a.m. Volunteers will meet in Turner Park. Throughout Old Town we will be picking up trash and winter debris, cleaning and mulching flower beds, sweeping sidewalks and gutters, etc. Click here to sign up. If you have questions, please contact Shannon Murphy at

We hope to see you there!

Do you have a garden or patio that you would love to show off? The Old Town design committee is looking for gardeners who would like to be a part of the 3rd annual Old Town and Beyond garden tour on Saturday, July 7, from 12-6 p.m. Rain date is July 8. If interested, please contact Michael Beebe, garden tour coordinator, at 517-372-1348 or for details. Also, if you are an Old Town business owner and would like to take part in the garden tour please contact OTCA Executive Director Vanessa Shafer.

Friday, May 11 – Sunday May 13, 2017
Various Locations in Old Town Lansing

Mighty Uke Day is a celebration of the diminutive yet dynamic ukulele and honors its unique ties to Michigan culture as well as its contributions to music education and appreciation in the schools and community. The weekend’s activities will be held in various locations in Old Town Lansing, including workshops at Elderly Instruments.

They’re pulling out all the stops this year for the eighth Mighty Uke Day, the premier ukulele festival in the Midwest! Evening concerts feature headliners James Hill and Anne Janelle on Saturday and Cynthia Lin on Friday. Supporting acts include UkulennyAbe Lagrimas Jr.Karla Kane, and Joel Mabus. The weekend will be full of workshops, open mic, featured performers, children’s activities, and more. Concert and workshop tickets are on sale now; mark your calendars for May 11 – 13, it’s going to be the mightiest Mighty Uke Day yet! Updated info will be available on the MUD website and on Facebook.

What is #517Day?

It’s that special day in May when the date and our area code coincide. It’s a reminder for us all to be proud and celebrate all of the great things happening in our community. Many businesses in the area will be running specials on May 17 to celebrate.

This year will boast an Inaugural Lansing Made 517 Day Event at the Lansing City Market and along the riverfront from 4-7 p.m. This family-friendly event is free and will feature a DJ, live music, food trucks, special rates for kayak rentals from River Town Adventures and lots of activities for all ages!

Want to support the cause and show your #lovelansing pride? Change your social media profile pic to the 517 Day graphic provided by the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau and be sure to share with all of your friends and colleagues.

While a dollar sure doesn’t buy much these days, it’s still enough to participate in the Lansing area’s favorite annual event — Be a Tourist in Your Own Town. This day allows event participants to visit over 90 local attractions and one-day only special tours that include: Impression 5 Science Center, Potter Park Zoo, the State Capitol Building, the Michigan Historical Museum and so much more!

“Be a Tourist in Your Own Town” was created by the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau to showcase Greater Lansing’s attractions, special events and tourism suppliers to our local residents. Participants can purchase a “passport” for $1 at various locations throughout the community throughout the month of May. This passport allows the participants into all of the participating attractions throughout the region for free on the day of the event. An estimated 15,000 residents and visitors come out to enjoy the day. Certain attractions are stamp locations where the back of the passports can be stamped. Participants can continue to have their passports stamped at those locations throughout the month of June, but admission will only be free with the passport on the day of the event. They must pay full admission price for the remainder of the month. The participants can then mail in the completed stamp page to be eligible for numerous prizes.

Old Town’s Chalk of the Town is one of the many amazing events that will be taking place on June 2! Roam the streets of Old Town and experience true art in the streets. Beginning at 9 a.m., artists will take to the streets creating masterpieces on their assigned piece of sidewalk, using only chalk. The creations will be completed by 2 p.m. when the judging will commence. Visitors to this event will be allowed to vote for the People’s Choice winner all day and winners will be announced at 3 p.m. Families are also welcome to participate in the kid’s sidewalk art area.

The Capital Area Transportation Authority partners with the GLCVB to provide five transportation routes with dedicated stops and multiple busses on each route to get to the majority of attractions. Just pay fifty cents when you board the bus and receive a transfer that will allow patrons to freely get on and off the buses until the end of the event. While CATA lines service the majority of the attractions, there are a few that are not on a bus route, and patrons may need to drive to get there.


–by Kristina Kauffman, OTCA org committee

kristinaOld Town volunteer Kristina Kauffman is always ready to pitch in to help make Old Town great — and she does it with a smile on her face. At Old Town’s most recent event, Kristina, donned her “Smiling’s my favorite” cap from the movie “Elf,” and helped bring holiday cheer during the Scrooge Scramble and Holiday Hullabaloo.

Helping organize our many volunteers, and do any other task needed, Kristina’s smiling face is one that greets Old Town visitors all year long. Thank you for everything you do, Kristina!

“Shop Small”, “Shop Local”, “Made in America”, “Made in Michigan” — these are just a few of the buzzwords that you hear this time of year. But have you ever stopped to think about what these phrases really mean to our community and our local economy?

We hear every day about a major company building a new plant in a community. “Two Hundred Million Dollars Invested in Lansing to create 200 jobs.” That seems to be an obscene amount of money for a mere 200 jobs.

Did you know that 75 percent of all jobs are created by small business? Small businesses are rooted in our communities. Small business owners live in the community in which their business resides. Small business owners hire individuals within the community to work for them. At least 50 percent of the monies created by these small businesses stays in our local economy.

When you visit a small business, the owners get to know you — often by name. We learn your likes and dislikes, your hopes and dreams, and about your family. We tailor our products to our customers and can make changes immediately when we see something that needs to be altered, changed, added or deleted. As business owners, we listen to you!

Locally owned businesses are active in our communities. When small businesses thrive, they offer more benefits to employees, donate to non-profits, and invest back into their businesses, employees, and the community. When small businesses experience growth, they expand their goods and services, making an even larger selection available closer to home.

When you visit large cities, what is it you like about them? Often, it’s the unique shops offering unique items you can’t find at home. Shopping local, small businesses allows our community to develop these “big city” shopping experiences.

Consider making “Shop Local”, “Shop Small”, “Made in America” and “Made in Michigan” not just a once-a-year endeavor but a lifestyle. It takes a village to create a community and, as small business owners, we are laying the groundwork for OUR thriving local economy.


— Kathy Holcomb, Absolute Gallery