Ludington turns the big 150 and all are invited to celebrate June 9 to 11, 2023 with these sesquicentennial events during Love Ludington Weekend.

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Ludington’s gonna need more than a Lake Michigan summer breeze to put out the candles on this year’s birthday cake. The harbor city is marking 150 loops around the sun since its founding, and everyone who knows and loves the place is invited to blow into town for the sesquicentennial celebration of the season, Love Ludington Weekend, June 9–11.

Spoiler alert: There’ll be lots to love. For early birdies, some pre-party putt-putt, $1.50 per person (get it?), starts at noon Friday at the Ludington Area Jaycees Mini Golf Course at Stearns Park Beach. The deal runs 12–10 p.m. through Sunday, and each family gets a commemorative golf ball that, with proper care and storage, might be worth $150 by 2073. (Maybe.)

The real party begins at 6 p.m. on Friday with a massive street bash radiating from the intersection of Ludington Avenue and James Street. Expect live music and dancing in the streets—California’s No. 1 dance band, Pop Vinyl, is headlining—plus food vendors, kids games and, at dusk, a massive fireworks show.

If you want to celebrate Ludington’s longevity while improving the chance of your own, wake up early on Saturday to run the Lakestride Half Marathon, 10k or 5k; the rest of us will waddle over to House of Flavors—to grab a scoop (or two) of ice cream to celebrate their 75th birthday. Prefer house parties? Join one of the historic home and B&B walking tours happening 1–3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Explore the full weekend of sesquicentennial events below: 

Sesquicentennial Events on Friday, June 9

6 to 10:30 p.m. | Evening Street Party
The weekend festivities kick off Friday, June 9, with a downtown street party, featuring live music, children’s games and activities, food vendors and fireworks.

5 to 7 p.m. | Budweiser Clydesdales on Parade
Sponsored by Ludington Beverage Co., an eight-horse Clydesdale hitch will parade through downtown for ceremonial beer deliveries to customers.
At 6 p.m., the horses will stop at the main stage to kick off the street party. The hitch will be stationed for the public to view and photograph until 7 p.m.

6 p.m. | Ice Cream Giveaway
House of Flavors will give out free scoops of birthday cake-flavored ice cream on Ludington Avenue near Robert Street to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

6 to 10 p.m. | Live Music
Main stage at Ludington Ave. and James Street, headlined by Southern California’s top dance band, Pop Vinyl, taking the stage at 8 p.m.

10:15 p.m. (approximately) | Fireworks

House of Flavors in Ludington

Photo by Dave Weidner

House of Flavors in Ludington.

Other Sesquicentennial Weekend Activities

Events throughout the weekend include:

Putt-Putt Celebration
June 9 to 11, noon to 10 p.m. daily
Ludington Area Jaycees Mini Golf Course. Golfing is $1.50 per-person all weekend, and each family receives a commemorative golf ball.

Ludington Lakestride Races
June 10, 8 a.m., starting at Stearns Park
The 43rd annual race series features a half marathon, 10K and 5K.

Historic Homes Walking Tours
June 10 and 11 at 1 and 2 p.m., from Mason County Research Center (arrive 10 minutes early)
Take a one-hour guided walking tour through Ludington’s newly designated historic district while meeting important characters from Ludington’s history — William Jennings Bryan; Antoine, Kate, and Charles Cartier; Marshall Butters; and others brought to life by first-person interpreters. Saturday tours will be of home exteriors; Sunday tours will go into historic Bed and Breakfasts (common areas only). $20 per person (up to 20 people per tour).

Clydesdales on Display
June 10 and 11. On June 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Loomis Street Boat Launch
The eight-horse hitch will start at the launch parking lot, parade north along Lakeshore Drive and through Stearns Park Beach, and return to the parking lot where the hitch will be stationed for the public to view and photograph. The Clydesdales will make a final appearance June 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mason County Fairgrounds for photographs.

Find details about these and many more sesquicentennial shindigs to follow this summer and fall—a Scottville Clown Band show, a Maritime Heritage Day, a cemetery walk, the re-enactment of a historic Mason County trial and an utterly divine (period dress welcome!) Sesquicentennial Ball.

Photo(s) by Shelby Soberalski