Historic Downtown Howell has always been well known for its festivities. Listed below are some opportunities you have to get involved in community activities this summer.
1.) The Pink Party
The annual Pink Party is taking place this year on Thursday, June 13 from 5pm-10pm. The event will take place rain or shine and, with a $30 donation, you can receive a passport. If you are in possession of a passport, you can receive special promotions and gifts from the local stores. Passports are now available at the Carriage House, the Heart of Michigan, the Farmers Market, and Howell Western Wear. You can get tickets early online here. You can also send emails with questions to thePinkParty11@yahoo.com
For more information, or to volunteer, please call (810)-623-1181
2.) Craft & Vendor Summer Bazaar
On Saturday, June 1 from 9am-5pm, enjoy free admission to shopping with local artists, crafters, and vendors at the Heart of the Shepherd Lutheran Church. There will be 50 exhibitors, prizes, and a bake sale. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the church’s youth group. Click here or call (248)-979-0411 for more information. You can also email questions to Paula@Paw-LasPantry.com
3.) 8th Annual Heritage Benefit Car Show
Downtown Howell is inviting all proud car owners to showcase their antique or classic cars at this year’s Benefit Car Show on Saturday, June 8 from 10am-3pm. The show is located at 2300 E Grand River Avenue (Corner of Chilson and Grand River). Registration will take place from 10am-12pm, judging and trophies will be awarded between 12pm-3pm. Entrance of a vehicle only costs $15.00, and spectators are welcome for free. There will be a 50/50 raffle, family fun, door prizes, DJ music, food, and trophies.
4.) Farmer’s Market
If you are interested in fresh produce, you can always visit the Howell Farmer’s Market on Sundays from 9am-2pm. The Farmer’s Market will run through October 27, and offers weekly live entertainment. The Farmer’s Market is located in Downtown Howell and is sponsored by the Press and Argus, 1st National Bank, and the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce.
5.) Movies Under The Stars
If you like The Muppets, Madagascar 3, Hotel Transylvania, The Lorax, The Avengers, or Here Comes The Boom, check out Howell’s Movies Under The Stars, located at Thompson Lake every other Friday evening during the summer after sundown. Admission is free, and concessions are sold. Movies start June 7 and run through August 30. Visit us in Downtown Howell on August 17 for a special Melonfest showing of The Odd Life of Timothy Green. This will take place at 9pm at the Courthouse Amphitheatre.
6.) Ghostbusters S.W.A.T
Join Razzmatazz Toys on Saturday, May 25 from 12pm-2pm to meet and greet the Ghostbusters S.W.A.T. This event is wonderful for children and Ghostbusters’ fans who want to come out and see that even the Ghostbusters need someone to call.
For more information, please contact the store at (517)-579-2206
7.) Howell History Day Celebration (Pictures Below)
One of the largest celebrations in Howell, the famous History Day Celebration includes: Living historians, tractor alley, crafts and vendors, hands on interactive exhibits, local authors, entertainment, historical building tours, and much more. This year’s History Day Celebration takes place on Saturday, May 18 from 10am-4pm.
Historic Building Tours include:
McPherson Mansion from 11am-2pm
Historic Court House- All Saints Chapel from 10am-12pm
Historic Depot Museum and Caboose- Howell Library from 11am-3pm
1882 Greenaway Home from 12pm-2pm
Presbyterian Church from 12pm-3pm
For a full schedule and updates, please click here.
8.) Shop with Employee Discounts!
Shop different in Downtown Howell on employee discount days May 13 through May 19. Some discounted items include:
-15% off fresh arrangements and 20% off gift items not already discounted at All Saints Florist and Boutique
-Buy two greeting cards and receive one FREE at Carriage House Designs
-10% off dinner at Chinese Delight
-Buy one entree and get one free with a purchase of two beverages at Diamond’s Steak and Seafood
-Buy 1 month membership at Frontal Lobe and get one month FREE
-15% off grooming services at Noble Dog
-15% off purchases of $50 or more at Razzmatazz Toys
-10% off purchases of $10 or more at The Candy Bar
-$50 off a 5-day vacation at Howell Travel and Cruise
There are many more! For a full list and store locations, please click here.
9.) Heart of Michigan Customer Appreciation Day
Heart of Michigan is holding a Customer Appreciation Day on Saturday, June 1 from 10am-9pm. The business is trying to fill a truck for Gleaners Food Bank. The first 50 people to enter the store with at least 10 non-perishable food items will receive a gift bag full of Michigan Made products for their donation. Heart of Michigan will also be handing out gift cards from local businesses throughout the day for customers who supply 10 or more non perishable food items. There will be live musical entertainment in front of the store all day, as well as a free product samples and in-store product demonstrations.
The Community Theatre of Howell (CTH) will present scholarships up to $300 to graduating seniors who intend to pursue a major and have been accepted into a 2-year or 4-year performing arts (acting, directing, design, technical, dance, vocal, instrumental performance, teacher of the performing arts, video/film production, or management) curriculum.
The application deadline is Friday, May 31, 2013. For additional details and to complete the application, please click here.
Although winter brings along some treacherous temperatures, there are many activities designed for getting you outside during the year when you’d rather remain indoors.
- With a lake as large as Thompson here in Howell, ice fishing is on the top of the list for activities to try this winter. As opposed to last winter when it never dropped below 40 degrees, Thompson is now frozen over and a perfect place to drill a hole and drop a line. Ice fishing allows you the opportunity to spend some relaxing quality time outdoors with friends and family without doing anything too strenuous. It’s also great for stepping away from stress for a little while and enjoying some alone time. You’re going to want to bundle up and pack along some patience. Though you do spend a lot of time waiting around, nothing is more rewarding than making your catch.
- Regardless of already being an outdoor enthusiast or not, cross country skiing is bound to make you one. Nothing brings you up close and personal with nature like submerging yourself into a few snow covered trails. One of the best destinations for cross country skiing locally is Kensington Metropark. With only a small daily admission price of five dollars, you’ll have access to their seven different trails ranging from half a mile to two miles, as well as man-made trails along the golf course.
- You can also find ice rinks in just about every town in Michigan, but skating outdoors can be far more enjoyable. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not uncomfortably cold. With the reflection of the sun and the body heat you’re producing, ice skating outdoors can almost be more comfortable than skating indoors. Ice skating also brings along opportunities to enjoy time with the family and teach younger siblings how to become comfortable out on the ice. You’re going to want to bring removable layers because it heats up quickly on the ice.
- But to top off all of these outdoor activities, you have the most classic of all: sledding. No matter how young or old you are, everyone enjoys breaking the sleds out of the garage and finding a lengthy hill to ride down. You can keep it as simple as your backyard or find parks and sled hills around your home. Kensington Metropark also offers a variety of sledding hills marked from beginner to expert. While Kensington does charge a small fee to have access to the hills for the day, there are many places that offer sledding areas for free. Renting or buying a cheap sled and finding a hill is a cost effective winter activity that will have the entire family busy all day long. It also serves a great purpose for proving to family and friends that you can beat any of them down the hill.
- For those who are truly not fans of our Michigan weather, there are still a few activities you can enjoy while being indoors and staying warm. The most standard activity is going to an indoor pool for a few hours. Locally, we have the Hartland pool which is located within their high school and charges $3.75 a person to have access to their open swim. They have a hot tub, a slide, a lap pool, and a lazy river. It’s perfect for accommodating all of the family’s needs.
- If swimming isn’t quite the thrill you’re looking for on a winter day, another activity available is indoor rock climbing. Many gyms have indoor rock climbing walls that you can pay to use. Although it isn’t quite the thrill of real life rock climbing, it’s a fantastic way to tone your muscles and strengthen your body without picking up any weights. Gyms that have indoor rock climbing usually offer beginner and intermediate classes that will teach you the basics of climbing.
Michigan is a great place for winter activities and offers a wide variety of outdoor activities that will keep family and friends entertained all day long. Trying something new is a great way to come across new hobbies and winter time favorites. Just make sure you bundle up and keep the hot chocolate packets in stock after a long day of enjoying Michigan’s weather.
Autumn. What a peaceful season! The leaves are blowing in the wind, the bright red mums are blooming, and of course, the big round Jack-o-Lanterns are grinning at all who pass by them. Halloween is just around the corner and our little town of Howell can’t wait. There are so many fun family activities coming our way to help celebrate this glorious time of the year.
On October 27, Howell’s tenth annual Legend of Sleepy Hollow takes place. Trick-or- treat through the streets, enter a costume contest, hop on a hayride, enjoy live entertainment and much more. Howell shuts down the streets and throws a great party. Be sure to join the community for some spooky fun.
“This Halloween is going to be a blast! I can’t wait to go to the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and enter the costume contest! I almost won last year dressed as a Zombie Prom Queen, so I’m hoping to win this year!” says Highlander Way student Olivia Petroi.
Tanger Outlet is also getting into the Halloween spirit by hosting “Trick-or-Treat Tangerstyle”. All children twelve years and under are invited to trick-or-treat on the Tanger streets between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Wednesday, October 24, 2012.
“I am very excited to see all the kids dressed up and see their faces light up when they receive candy. It’s such a cool thing for the mall to coordinate that includes the kids of the community,” says Danielle Campbell, Howell High School junior and Old Navy employee.
Every teenage girl has seen Mean Girls, the movie about a naive homeschooler who gets swept up in the dramatic, deceptive world of The Plastics. It’s hilarious. It’s a cult classic. It’s ridiculously true to life. But as HHS students are beginning to realize, its portrayal of the high school gang mentality may be even more accurate than we previously thought – especially when it comes to rumors.
On Twitter, there are the accounts @HowellRumors and @HowellIssues. On Facebook, there’s What’sHappenin InHowell. While @HowellIssues focuses more on general complaints about the school and what happens in it, @HowellRumors retweets, well, rumors (albeit ones that are obviously joking) about students. Its background is the notorious “burn book” from Mean Girls.
There’s a pretty fair amount of profanity on these pages, and definitely a few more scoff-worthy complaints (by now we’re all aware of the fluctuating temperatures inside HHS, I’m sure). Other than that, though, there doesn’t appear to be anything of real harm in these tweets. But some people are afraid that the worst has yet to come.
More and more lately there are stories on the news about athletes and employees getting fired from their jobs, or at least experiencing significant negative feedback, due to the content of their Twitter and Facebook accounts. A high school in Tennessee even underwent a lockdown back in January because of a warning from the Twitter staff that students from their school were planning to bring a .22 caliber gun to campus.
Not all social media discourse about Howell is negative, however. The Facebook page “Howell Positivity – Not Stupidity” updates every few days, sometimes with posts congratulating students on their accomplishments, other times with pictures bearing inspirational quotes. It has received appropriately positive feedback thus far.
Whether good or bad, it’s important to remember one thing: the Internet is not as safe and secure as it might sometimes seem. There are growing repercussions for what one says online, repercussions that can extend into the foreseeable future.
The snow drifted peacefully onto the beautifully decorated trees, which lit the way for the various vehicles to amble down the trail and enjoy the Christmas season with their loved ones. Howell Area Parks and Recreation has been developing this tradition for the past five years.
The fifth annual Holiday in the Park is a half-mile rustic drive through the Howell City Park, the hills lined with a hundred trees decorated for the Christmas season by local families, businesses, church groups, and service organizations.
“We determined that we wanted to do a winter activity – something with a winter theme,” Debbie Mikula, director of the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority since September 2007, said. “We’ve seen a number of different drive-throughs and thought we could do one in this beautiful park.”
This year, there are a hundred trees to enjoy, along with an additional five to six trees already decorated on the property. The trees took a lot of effort to decorate.
“We enlisted the help of about fifty organizations and families,” Mikula says, remembering all the hard work that went into making the Holiday in the Park event. “We tried to get trees in the place – live trees, not ‘K-mart deers.’”
The holiday event opened on December 2. The opening ceremony consisted with a horse-drawn carriage and Santa, and cookies and hot chocolate for the kids. When it got dark enough, the kids wrote on sky lanterns and sent them into the sky. Mikula laughed, “We tell them they’re heading to the North Pole for Santa Claus.”
The Holiday in the Park is open until Christmas night, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every evening. According to Mikula, the best place to view the trees is from Lakeside Park.
“You can look right across the lake,” Mikula says with a smile. “It’s absolutely gorgeous.
Many thanks go to the businesses and local families who helped to orchestrate the entire event. A few are the Howell High School Interact Club, the City of Howell, Mallard Pond, and the Howell Beautification Committee. Also, the Psau family deserves some recognition for helping set up the event five years in a row.
“Once it’s done, seeing the light on the kids’ faces, I know it was all worth it. But decorating,” Mikula laughed when I asked if decorating was her favorite part. “No. The decorating takes a lot of staff and energy – it’s a good two to four weeks spent getting everything ready before the opening ceremony.”
Don’t wait too long to spend some time with your family this Christmas. The Holiday in the Park is only open till December 25. The cost is five dollars per vehicle. Head over to the Howell City Park at the corner of Thompson and Barnard to spend quality time with your family and friends this holiday season.
On November 8, 2011, Howell city’s long time mayor Geri Moen passed the mayoral duties on to Phillip Campbell. The following Monday, Mr. Campbell walked into the town hall to claim his office. Now, several weeks into his two-year term, Mr. Campbell is ready to lead Howell in a new direction.
“I’d like to make myself a much more accessible mayor,” Mayor Campbell says. A family man, Mr. Campbell has been married to his wife Rebecca for ten years and has four children. In fact, buying a house and paying taxes in Howell is what pushed him towards getting involved in city affairs.
The mayor grew up in Howell, graduating from Howell High School with the class of ’98, and has never considered leaving. As he says, “I got involved slowly.”
Running for mayor wasn’t always Mr. Campbell’s ambition; by profession, he’s a schoolteacher and a youth leader. In 2008, he got involved in the local Republican Party. Since then, he’s been following city issues and attending council meetings, trying to get his opinion out there about his town. “I’ve lived here forever, I care about the community, and I wanted to get involved.”
Though he claims that not one particular thing pushed him to run for mayor, he says that the deciding moment was at the 2009 election, when he came to vote and realized that there was only one candidate for mayor. It was then that he decided to run for office, and has been eagerly following the campaign trail since.
“In our country, we have a right to choose who runs our community; when there’s only one option, we miss that opportunity.”
During the summer and early fall, Mr. Campbell spent his weekends going door-to-door downtown and just telling people about himself, and asking for feedback from the citizens of Howell.
“I wanted to know what the people voting wanted from me,” the mayor says enthusiastically. “Running for mayor was the most fun thing I’ve ever done.”
On Election Day, November 8, Campbell gathered in Howelling Coffee with his family and closest friends to watch the results live.
“When I found out that I won, I don’t know- that was…just awesome,” he laughs. “My first thought was ‘I won; what am I going to do now?’” Taking on the duties of mayor in one week is a lot to take on. Mr. Campbell says that he was at first nervous about being responsible for the whole city. “I am a representative of these people, and I want to serve them the best I can.”
Now in office for three weeks, Mr. Campbell is already at work making local businesses a major priority. At the beginning of December, he filmed a promotional video for Razzmatazz Toys downtown.
Mr. Campbell says that he wants to have an online presence, and already has a website and Facebook page that he updates regularly. To keep up with the town’s proceedings, visit www.philforhowell.com or his mayoral Facebook page.
The mayor can’t change the world by himself, though. After the New Year, the mayor, city council, and other city leaders will participate in a retreat in which they will bring all of their ideas to the table and decide on a direction for the new administration.
A mayor’s term is two years long, which isn’t long in the world of politics. Thoughts of rerunning seem far off when the term has only started, but when asked about the possibility, he laughed and replied, “We’ll see.”
Starting back in August, when practice began for the Highlanders, they were destined to repeat for the state title.
The Howell equestrian team is made up of two parts, the “A” and “B” team, not based on skill but based on number of girls on the team. The “B” team is made up of six to nine girls and the “A” team has around over ten girls. With most of the members riding since they have been young and all owning their own horse or even two, this team means business.
The “B” team is composed of eight girls who took it all the way this year and won the state title for the Highlanders. To compete with the team a rider must be in three shows, and above all receive private lessons to sharpen up on their skills. Team captain Bri Rajala said, “We had a fun and successful year, and pulled off a great win again.”
The first district meets were located in Milford. The Highlanders surpassed the other riders and moved on to the next round of regionals. Regionals were located in Shiawassee County and were during the first October weekend. States were located in Midland during the 3rd weekend in October, and this is where it all mattered for the young riders. At the end of the first day the team was in fifth place overall and that’s when Coach Rajala had a team meeting and said, “Go hard or go home.” During the second day they climbed their way up to second place, finally on the last day the team pulled of a miraculous win and ended up in first place.
During districts, the team grew closer together and formed a great bond as the season grew more on the line. Junior Jenny Fusin said, “It’s not an individual score, but when everyone competes in different events and when everything is added up that is when it counts.”
Looking forward to the next season, the team is losing a lot of senior power but is also looking forward to the upcoming freshman class for new riders. One year can change a lot for a team but they are focused on the same goal as always: to go all the way and win states.
It’s hard to believe, but Howell’s football season has quickly come to an end.
The Howell Highlanders were able to capture a victory in their final game of the year beating Inkster, 35-8. It was a Highlander rout throughout the entire contest, with several strong individual performances.
Third year starting quarterback and senior captain, Greg Cauley, finished his last high school football game with a bang. He passed for 161 yards, scoring two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground.
Senior running back, Jon Melanson, rushed for 68 yards and a score on 12 carries.
While the offense was firing from all cylinders, the defense was even better. The Highlanders came out of the gate aggressively and it remained throughout the entire contest. They put excellent pressure on the quarterback and were able to shut down Inkster’s speedy offense.
Junior linebacker Vincent Patritto had an excellent game, recording five tackles and two sacks.
In previous games this season, turnovers plagued Howell. It definitely wasn’t the case Friday night. The Highlanders did not turn the ball over once to the Vikings and it showed on the scoreboard.
This was not the kind of season Howell was aiming for, but they were able to send the seniors out on a high note after finishing with an impressive two game win streak.
“Roller Derby is a contact sport,” says Micah ‘Meeka Massacre’ Bohanon, a sophomore at HHS, laughs as she describes what it’s like being the team captain of the Brighton Junior Roller Derby team. She and nine other local girls make up the ‘Atomic Cupcakes’. They won a second consecutive bout in Rochester Hills on Saturday, October 15.
Since the team’s founding in September 2010, Bohanon has been practicing every Monday night at Rollerama, eagerly preparing for her next opportunity to knock the other team to the floor – literally. Roller derby is a sport in which a ‘pack’ of skaters made up of players from both teams circle the arena while each team’s ‘jammer’ makes her way through the pack and receives points for every person she passes. The competitions are called ‘bouts’.
To prepare for their next bout, the team goes through a series of various exercises and stretches every week. They run drills, and most often scrimmage against each other; sometimes, their exercises include falling practice!
“I love that you get permission to hit and don’t have to apologize for it,” says Coach Kim ‘Cake’ Wheeler. She is founder of the Cupcakes, and also plays for Flint City Derby, an adult team. She says that she created the team because her two daughters, who are on both on the Cupcakes, wanted to play, and she wanted to help bring roller derby back. “If you just watch them, you can see that the girls really love it.”
“When I think of roller derby, I think of aggressive, loud girls getting hurt. And Whip It,” says sophomore Kaitlyn Allison, one of Bohanon’s classmates. Ten years ago, roller derby was a dead sport.
The first major roller derby team was created in Austin, Texas, and then teams started popping up one by one in big cities such as Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio. There are only a few junior teams in Michigan as of now, but the craze is growing fast.
Since there are no official leagues, the Cupcakes play with whichever teams they can. Their most recent bout was in Rochester Hills, an hour and half trip for some girls. Though the competition stayed close throughout the game, the Darlings of Destruction pulled the final score from a 63 point gap to 169-159.
“One thing I’d like everyone to know is that roller derby is a real sport. These girls are athletes, and they work as hard as any other sport would,” says Wheeler. Her admiration for the girls’ efforts is evident while she acts as the team’s most enthusiastic cheerleader.
On November 13, the Atomic Cupcakes will be playing a home bout at Rollerama. Tickets are $5, and a discount is being offered for anyone who stays for the open skate afterward. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.theatomiccupcakes.com.
“I like derby because the team is smaller, so we’re all really close,” Bohanon says, looking affectionately towards her teammates as she does. Even in the midst of a fierce competition, the girls still find time to laugh and smile with each other.