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.