Ludington Sesquicentennial events include Love Ludington Weekend

May 26, 2023

Ludington Sesquicentennial events include Love Ludington Weekend

LUDINGTON  – Ludington is continuing its 150th anniversary celebration in 2023 with a full calendar of events to honor its rich past and bright future, highlighted by Love Ludington Weekend June 9-11. Several activities have been added to the lineup including a children’s birthday party, summer speaker series, bicycle scavenger hunts and art exhibits.  Sesquicentennial information can be found at 

“This is an exciting year of celebration as we commemorate Ludington’s sesquicentennial,” said Ludington Mayor Mark Barnett. “We have a full schedule of events designed for everyone to enjoy, whether you love Ludington as a resident or a visitor. We encourage you to learn more about our history and how it has created who we are today as a city.”

The majority of the sesquicentennial events are being organized by local organizations and businesses. 

Love Ludington Weekend June 9-11

While March 22 was the official anniversary that Ludington was incorporated 150 years ago in 1873 and was commemorated with a local city-sponsored event, Ludington’s primary sesquicentennial celebration is Love Ludington Weekend June 9-11. Ludington’s official anniversary celebration weekend features three days of festivities, including:

  • Friday Night Street Party, June 9, 6-10:30 p.m., downtown. The weekend kicks off with a downtown street party featuring live music, children’s games, food vendors and fireworks. At 6 p.m., House of Flavors will give out free ice cream to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Clydesdales sponsored by Ludington Beverage Co. will help kick off the party at 6 p.m. and then be stationed for the public to view and photograph until 7 p.m. Live music will run on the main stage 6-10 p.m., headlined by top dance band Pop Vinyl, 8-10 p.m., followed by downtown fireworks at 10:15 p.m.
  • Putt-Putt Celebration June 9-11, noon-10 p.m. daily, Ludington Area Jaycees Mini Golf Course at Stearns Park. Entry:  $1.50 per-person all weekend, and each family receives a commemorative golf ball.
  • “Love Ludington” and “Celebrating the S.S. Badger” Art Exhibits June 9-11 (and through June 30), Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 S. Harrison St. Original artwork depicts scenes of the city’s past and present in honor of Ludington’s 150th anniversary, and artistic images of the S.S. Badger celebrate the ship’s 70th anniversary.
  • Historic Homes Walking Tours – June 10 and 11 at 1 and 2 p.m., beginning from the Mason County Historical Society’s Research Center, 130 E. Ludington Ave. (arrive 10 minutes early). Take a one-hour guided walking tour of homes in Ludington’s newly designated historic district while meeting important historical characters from Ludington’s history—William Jennings Bryan; Antoine, Kate, and Charles Cartier; Marshall Butters; and other Ludington notables brought to life by first-person interpreters. Saturday tours will be of home exteriors; Sunday tours will go into historic Bed and Breakfasts for a limited tour of the homes (common areas only). Cost, $20 per person (up to 20 people per tour). Sponsored by Mason County Historical Society.
  • Budweiser Clydesdales on parade/display June 10 and 11. On June 10 from 5-7 p.m. at Loomis Street Boat Launch, the eight-horse hitch will parade north along Lakeshore Drive and through Stearns Park Beach, returning to the lot for the public to view/photograph. The Clydesdales make a final appearance June 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mason County Fairgrounds for photographs. Sponsored by Ludington Beverage Co.

“Ludington was built from the woods and continues to thrive today on the water,” said Rebecca Berringer, executive director of the Mason County Historical Society whose organization is planning a number of anniversary events. “Our lumber barons are the ‘angels of Ludington’ – what they created and left behind allows us to be who we are today, which you will see at many of our events.”

Other 2023 Sesquicentennial Events/Activities

Other anniversary activities and events throughout 2023 (also at include:

  • House of Flavors Diamond Giveaway May through July 3. In celebration of its diamond (75th) anniversary and in partnership with Victoria’s Jewelry and WMOM-FM, House of Flavors is giving away a one-carat diamond. Entry forms can be picked up and submitted at Ludington’s House of Flavors Restaurant and Victoria’s Jewelry, and one winner will be drawn and announced July 4 during the Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival parade. Weekly winners also will be drawn on Tuesdays with prizes like ice cream, sundaes and  t-shirts. The diamond winner must be 18 years or older; no purchase necessary. Watch the Facebook page for weekly winners and other contest updates.
  • #RunLudington Sesquicentennial 150 Mile Challenge – Registration now through Nov. 1. The Ludington Run Club is challenging runners and walkers to log 150 miles to celebrate the sesquicentennial. The virtual challenge allows anyone to participate, wherever their location. Registration is $25 and includes a custom finishers medal featuring the sesquicentennial logo. T-shirts are also available for purchase. Proceeds from the event and merchandise sales will benefit the Ludington track program. Register and log miles at
  • Birthday Party for Ludington – May 13, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Sandcastles Children’s Museum. Staff dressed in period attire will welcome kids to learn what Ludington was like back in 1873 through hands-on activities around the museum, including a pioneer dress-up station, homemade yarn doll craft at the Creation Station, sing-along with Eric Engblade, and biscuit baking. Birthday cake will be served at noon, and door prizes will be drawn every half hour.
  • Celebrate Ludington: Bicycle Goosechase Scavenger Hunt – May 13-31. Open to youth ages 5 through 19, this self-guided bicycle scavenger hunt introduces participants to Ludington’s history by completing various challenges of biking to historical locations. Participants can earn points toward prizes for completed challenges. Enter individually or as a family, though only one prize awarded per group. Riders must download and use the free Goosechase app to participate. Bicycle helmets and bright clothing are encouraged.
  • “Love Ludington” and “Celebrating the S.S. Badger” Art Exhibits Exhibit June 2-30, artist reception June 2, 5-8 p.m., Ludington Area Center for the Arts. Concurrent art exhibits celebrate two important Ludington anniversaries – the “Love Ludington” exhibit depicts scenes of Ludington’s past and present through original artwork across all mediums in honor of its 150th anniversary, and the “Celebrating the S.S. Badger” exhibit features photographs and original artwork of the S.S. Badger for its 70th anniversary.
  • Sesquicentennial Concert featuring the Scottville Clown Band June 14, 7 p.m., Waterfront Park. This free event is open to the public to enjoy one of Michigan’s most beloved bands (also dating to 1903), with the Scottville mayor presenting a proclamation to the City of Ludington. Sponsored by Mason County Historical Society.
  • Ludington Sesquicentennial Summer Speaker Series – Second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m., June – September, Mason County Research Center. Mason County Historical Society Board President James Jensen will give monthly historical presentations on topics including Ludington Street Names, Ludington Angels, Star Watch Case, and Ludington Pub Crawl. Sponsored by Mason County Historical Society.
  • Maritime Heritage Day – Aug. 12, Port of Ludington Maritime Museum. This event will feature a historical presentation, walking tours of the Maritime Heritage Trail and discounted ticket prices. More details to come. Sponsored by Mason County Historical Society.
  • Cemetery Walk – Aug. 26, Lakeview and Pere Marquette Cemeteries. The Mason County Historical Society will lead walking tours where participants will come face-to-face with many of Ludington and Mason County’s most notable individuals, brought to life by first-person interpreters. Fee. Sponsored by Mason County Historical Society.
  • “Trial of the Century: Mason County-Style”Sept. 23, Historic White Pine Village in Pere Marquette Township. This mock trial at the original Mason County Courthouse will feature a judge and lawyers brought to life by first-person interpreters reenacting a case from Mason County history. Actors will engage with the crowd, some of whom may be selected as a juror. Other activities will include a Town Hall Ice Cream Social, pie contest, and demonstrations throughout the buildings. Fee. Sponsored by Mason County Historical Society.
  • Sesquicentennial Ball – Oct. 7, Stearns Hotel. This fundraiser for Mason County Historical Society will feature a sit-down dinner, music and dancing, plus a chance to learn more about the historic hotel as well as two notable figures in Ludington’s history, Eber Ward and Justus Stearns, in “The Quarrel Heard ‘Round the County” reenacted by Rick Plummer and Mike Nagle. $150 per person, and attendees are encouraged to dress for any decade over the last 150 years. Sponsored by Mason County Historical Society.

Eats & Drinks

Eats & Drinks