Hole-in-the-Wall Hometowns

Matt’s previous post about his love for his hometown, Chicago, and the way he outlines the many things to do that out-of-towners might not know about, really got me thinking about people’s relationships with their hometowns. I’m personally from Holland, MI way on the west side of the state, on Lake Michigan. Almost everyone who has never heard of or been to Holland automatically look at me like I’m crazy – why would someone from the freaking Netherlands come to the University of Michigan!? Alas, the Holland I’m from is in America, but that doesn’t mean the Dutch culture is excluded from the town. My 100% Dutch family fits in pretty well with the rest of the town. Just like Chicago, there are a lot of things to do in Holland that I’m sure not everyone knows about:

 

Dutch Village: You can go on the carnival style swings, buy cheeses or chocolates from the little shops, and you can even rent a goat for a day. Additionally… there’s a wooden shoe factory.

 

Tulip Time: What could be better than a week long festival with junk food and parades? Every night for the second week in May, people line the streets to watch the Dutch dancers do a traditional Dutch dance, however, the same thing every night. It’s tradition. You can get almost any junk food known to man, and there is a carnival amusement park set up, and saving the last for best – all schools get at least a day and a half off because of the parades.

 

Lake Michigan: You can rent sea doos, kayaks, go on dinner cruises, etc. But the marinas have probably some of the most beautiful boats you’ll ever see, be it speed boats, fishing boats, house boats, yachts, you name it. Pick any water sport you enjoy and I guarantee we could make it happen on Lake Michigan (unless of course it involves saltwater – at least you’ll avoid jellyfish).

 

Do you feel that there are things in your hometown that are often looked over? How do you think word spreads about events such as Tulip Time, the glory of Lake Michigan, etc.? Do you feel that there are underrated things about your hometown? I’m curious what people think is important about their hometowns, especially if they think most people aren’t aware of what makes it so important.

 

 

 

2 thoughts to “Hole-in-the-Wall Hometowns”

  1. Hi Paige!
    First of all, long time no see. I miss seeing you around so much, come by AXO before finals are over!

    I really like your post because I have some of the same feelings about where I am from. I’m from Grand Blanc, Michigan, and no one has heard of it. I have never been to Holland, but from your post I can tell I am missing out! Being from Michigan, I have hard people talk about Holland and now I have an even greater incentive to go. I am especially interested by the Dutch Village…I love that kind of thing.

    Grand Blanc is a great place to live. Although it is not a major city, and may not have the most to do, it was a great place to grow up. It is a typical small town; my friends and I would spend the weekends at the movies, restaurants, ice cream shops, or wandering around golf courses or parks. Sometimes if we were really bored, we would go to Wal-Mart and play hide and go seek…lame but fun.

    Grand Blanc is right outside of Flint, and it gets a bad rep because of the violence in Flint. Although Flint is one of the most dangerous cities in the US, it would only take a visit to see that it is not all bad. Flint is on the mend, and I am excited to see what happens in the future.

    I enjoyed your post!
    Kate

  2. I definitely thought some folks from Holland were from the Netherlands when I was a freshman! I’m glad I’m not the only one who made that silly mistake. 🙂

    I grew up on the other side of Lake Michigan–north of Chicago. I definitely need to spend some more time on the west side of the state. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to explore this summer. I hear it’s beautiful over there.

    I have a few friends from Holland, MI, so I have indeed heard of the Tulip Festival. I have never been myself, but the photos look gorgeous. Who plants all of those flowers? How long does it last? I’m sure it does wonderful things for the village–both aesthetically and economically.

    Thanks for all the suggestions, Paige!

    Mark

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