Up until now I have been talking about how great my NEW home will be, how much I love Tawas Bay and how excited we are to be moving on to our next adventure. But I would be doing my current hometown a huge disservice if I didn’t give it a big shout out. I LOVE HOWELL !!
Chad and I both grew up in Wayne county. While there are a lot of great things about living so close to a big city, we wanted something different for our family. Someplace where you would run into people you knew when you were downtown. Somewhere where there actually WAS a downtown. We scouted out a few options and ended up picking Howell and I am so thankful we did.
Howell has a wonderful, thriving downtown area with small shops, restaurants and parks. It has only gotten better since we have lived here. We are about an hour from downtown Detroit, 30 minutes from Ann Arbor and about 40 from Lansing. Close enough that we don’t miss out on sporting events, concerts or shows.
We are known for our big festivals like Balloonfest, Melon Fest and our Fantasy of Lights parade that kicks off the holiday season. All of that is great, but I like the things people may not realize even more. We have a great little lake less than a mile from downtown.Thompson lake is an all sports lake with a boat launch, beach, and a city park where you can rent pavilions for your special events. We have spent a lot of time boating and celebrating there.
The schools here are also great. All 3 of our kids were here from elementary school to graduation and they excelled. The teachers and support staff always go above and beyond for the kids. There are great programs…Katie was in the culinary arts program and helps run the school restaurant before heading off to earn her Culinary Arts degree. Cassie was part of the school paper and now she has a degree from MSU in journalism and is working as a reporter. Jack is graduating high school and has already earned his Firefighter I and II and has been working at the fire department for the last 6 months thanks to the high school Fire Academy. He is also enrolled in the EMT program and will be certified later this summer.
There is a baseball/softball community league for kids and all 3 of our kids were involved in. Chad even coached. We have made a lot of baseball friends and the kids knew most of the kids they played with from school.
Of course there are the big events:
Balloonfest is the end of June. There is a carnival, arts and crafts, dog stunt shows, live entertainment but of course the big draw is the hot air balloons. It brings in a lot of visitors, but those of us who live here can tell you that we have a lot of fun chasing the balloons around and watching them land. Many of us have even experienced and have pictures of them landing in our yards!
Melonfest is in August. The streets downtown are closed off and people come from all over for the events. Melon chucking, live music, melon wine and special menus at the restaurants downtown. Another Arts and Crafts show. But the real star is the melon ice cream that only comes around once a year. It is delicious!
The Fantasy of Lights parade is the day after Thanksgiving and we have been every year except for 1 in all the years we have lived here. We usually have a kid marching in it for one reason or another. The shops all decorate their storefronts and you walk around and vote on your favorite. The town Christmas tree is lit, there is a place where kids can go see real reindeer and decorate sugar cookies. Choirs are performing around town. We have been there in snow, rain, warm weather and everything in between! It’s a great way to bring in the Christmas season.
Girl Scouts, baseball, community theater, bowling leagues, 4H programs, a community band. There are a LOT of ways to get involved and get to know people here. You can live in town and walk to everything or you can have acreage outside of town and drive in when you want to socialize. There are housing options to fit every lifestyle.
If I could pick up this town and these people and move it to a Great Lake I would have. This town welcomed us and was an AMAZING place to raise our family. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one town and I consider this my hometown. We have made lifelong friends here and I will visit often. When people ask me where I am from, I will proudly say Howell.