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Lansing in Michigan.
Lansing is the capital of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located about 80 miles (130 km) west-northwest of Detroit and is mostly in Ingham County, although small portions of the city extend into Eaton County. The 2010 Census places the city's population at 114,297, making it the fifth largest city in Michigan.
Each year in June, the Michigan Pride festival includes a gay pride parade from Riverfront Park to the capitol.
The Capital City African American Cultural Association hosts an African American Parade and Heritage Festival every year for almost a decade. The chair of the CCAACA is the Rev. Dr. Michael C. Murphy, who is pastor of St. Stephen's Community Church, a former State Representative and a long-time community leader. The parade highlights African American culture, its influence in Michigan, and recognizes prominent African American individuals in the community and their contributions to Lansing as the grand marshal of each parade. The festival immediately following the parade consists of live entertainment, "soul food" and lots of fun for adults and children. It is held every year on the first Saturday in August and begins at 11:00 a.m. in downtown Lansing, Michigan. The festival is held at Ferris Park in downtown Lansing. In 2009 they will celebrate 10 years.
The 24th Annual Silver Bells in the City Parade proceeded through the streets of downtown Lansing on November 21, 2008. The 2007 parade attracted over 120,000 for the Electric Light Parade followed by the lighting of Michigan's official Christmas tree in front of the State Capitol and a firework show (weather permitting) over the State Capitol.
There are many bars and clubs in downtown Lansing let alone in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Bars and clubs in downtown include: Brannigan Brothers, Kelly's, The Firm, Tavern on the Square, 621, Excel, The Exchange, Macs Bar, Harem's, Rum Runners (dueling piano bar), Moriarty's, Nuthouse, Art's and The Green Door to name just a few. Many of these bars and clubs have live bands; The Green Door is a blues bar that has live bands 7-nights a week.
The Lansing JazzFest and the Old Town BluesFest host leading musicians, and are two of the larger music festivals held each year in the state.
Old Town's Festival of the Moon and Sun is a two day festival full of food and live music.
Old Town Oktoberfest is a two-day event drawing hundreds to the Old Town neighborhood for live polka music, authentic German food and of course world renowned German-style beer.
It was announced in May 2007 that the city would host a Thursday night, summertime blues concerts along Washington Square in downtown Lansing named "Blues on the Square" that will feature national acts during the summer June–August. In 2008 the event regularly drew crowds over 500 to downtown.
The Common Ground Festival is a musical event held over a week every July at the Adado Riverfront Park in downtown Lansing pulling in crowds over 90,000 for the week. It began in 2000 and replaced the Michigan Festival that was held in nearby East Lansing. It has wide range of musical acts. In 2008 acts included Staind, Drowning Pool, Sammy Hagar, The Hard Lessons, Snoop Dogg, REO Speedwagon, Kellie Pickler, Seether and Trace Adkins.
Every year the Lansing City Pulse names the top original Act in the Top of the Town Awards. The 2010 winner was Eastside neighborhood native indie rock band Loune.
The Riverwalk Theatre, (formerly the Okemos Barn Theatre), the Lansing Civic Players, and the BoarsHead Theater are all located in downtown.
Peppermint Creek Theatre Company is a well established "new" award winning theater company.
The Greater Lansing Ballet Company is an award-winning ballet and dance company.
The Creole Gallery brings in various musicians and hosts the Icarus Falling Theater group.
Lansing is home to a number of small, specialized museums such as:
The Impression 5 Science Center, a children's museum located in a historic wagon works factory on the Grand River.
The Michigan Museum of Surveying, the only museum in North America solely dedicated to surveying and mapping. It is located in a former steam plant constructed in 1923.
The R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, a museum dedicated to the education of Lansing's role in the development of transportation, particularly the automobile.
The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame, a museum dedicated to the historical accomplishments and achievements of Michigan women. The house is located directly south of downtown in the 1903-built Cooley-Haze House. The museum is surrounded by Cooley Gardens.
The Turner-Dodge House, a museum dedicated to Lansing's early pioneers. The museum sits in the Classical Revival-styled Turner-Dodge Mansion, built in 1858 for James and Marion Turner, and later by their daughter and her husband. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Michigan Library and Historical Center contains one of the 10 largest genealogy collections in the nation, has a museum dedicated to Michigan's history among other attractions.
Lansing has several farmers' markets throughout the city in the summer months. These markets include the Allen Street Farmer's Market on the city's eastside, the Old Town Farmer's Market, and the year-round historic Lansing City Market located near downtown. The Lansing City Market has built a brand new $1.6 million facility on the riverfront in downtown Lansing where it will continue its year round operations providing specialty items in addition to regular groceries from over 30 vendors.
Potter Park Zoo
The historic Potter Park Zoo, located along the Red Cedar River in Lansing, has more than 500 animals and numerous programs and events for children and families. With annual attendance increasing every year since 2006 (167,000 in 2009, compared to 137,236 in 2008 and 110,167 in 2006) there are $667,100 in capital improvements planned for 2009 including a giant walk-in aviary and a new female tiger. In 2009 the zoo began a $1.4 million renovation to its rhinoceros exhibit. This is in addition to $1.3 million spent on capital improvements in 2008.
The Library of Michigan and Historical Center is a highly regarded state library and research center. The library is one of the top five genealogical research facilities in the United States. The Capital Area District Library has 13 branches within Ingham County, some of these include: The Main library downtown, the Foster Library on the east side, and the South Lansing Library on the south side.
Other area destinations
In October 2009 the Wharton Center for Performing Arts completed a 24,000 sq/ft, $18.5 million expansion and renovation, having already spent over $1.3 million in 2008. Many Broadway shows come to The Wharton Center before traveling to theaters in larger places such as Chicago. The Kresge Art Museum, the MSU Museum, and the Abrams Planetarium are highly acclaimed cultural destinations located on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing. In June 2007 MSU announced the plans to build a new art museum after a $26 million gift from Eli and Edythe Broad. Internationally known Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid of London won the design competition for the museum that will be built in East Lansing.
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