Feel at home while being a tourist
By Shauna Stocken
Local residents can kick off summer by discovering and revisiting local businesses, attractions and destinations in the greater Lansing community.
Passports costing just $1 can be purchased for the 24th annual “Be A Tourist In Your Own Town,” which takes place Saturday, June 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Trustfully, the best place to pick up passports is the Visitor Center in downtown Lansing across from Cooley Law School Stadium,” said Brendan Dwyer, manager of marketing communications for the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Or (at) our East Lansing Visitor Center, across from the Broad Museum.”
This year’s event features 90 attractions, including: hands-on activities at Impression 5 Science Center and Potter Park Zoo; free movies at NCG Eastwood Cinema; 10 free tokens from Zap Zone; and visits to galleries, museums, breweries and wineries for adults.
According to Dwyer, most of the participating attractions are on the CATA bus route. CATA is covering transportation for only 50 cents per person for the entire day of events.
For those driving their own vehicles, participants can check their passports for free parking spots in Lansing and East Lansing.
“So the concept was, with the ‘Be A Tourist In Your Own Town’ passport, the doors of the entire community open themselves up and for that day,” Dwyer said. “You got 90 different things to see and do. Sometimes it’s an attraction; sometimes it’s behind the scene at a radio station or our local newspaper.”
The Lansing Community College TV/Radio Station is among the area’s mass media included in the day’s event. Guest visiting LCC TV and Radio Station 89.7 FM will have the chance to tour the studio and record their own radio and video messages.
Visit, suite 001 on the lower level of the Technology and Learning Center on LCC’s main campus with a passport to participate.
According to LCC TV/Radio Station Manager Daedalian Lowry, visiting the LCC TV/ Radio Station is enjoyable for any age group.
“We try to change it up a little bit. For the most part, we found that certain things work better than others,” Lowry said. “For instance, we, of course, get a lot of children; a lot of kids. Little ones love being on air and having the chance to hear their voice on the radio.
“Over on the TV side, that’s changed a bit because TV itself has changed over the years. But, I think the most enjoyable thing we do is the green screen, which allows kids to be invisible and have floating heads and everything else, so it’s really fun.”
Participants on LCC’s main campus can also participate in the Downtown Sculpture Walk, starting at 422 N. Washington Square. All sculptures were created by LCC faculty, alumni or students.
LCC’s Shigematsu Garden at 500 N. Capitol Ave., and the LCC Veteran’s Memorial at 515 N. Washington Square offer stories of history and culture.
“These are all aspects of LCC that a lot of people don’t get to see every day,” Lowry said. “And for us, basically our doors are always open anyway, but this really just invites people to come in and see what really happens and I think that’s cool.”
While some participating businesses and attractions may change from one year to the next; offering prizes for receiving stamps on the passport has always been a component of the event, Dwyer said.
“It makes the event a little more fun to go around and collect stamps and kind of get your competitive spirit going,” Dwyer said.
This year’s prizes include a $1,500 travel voucher from the Capital Region International Airport, tickets to the Lansing Lugnuts, hotel overnights and much more. For a complete list of prizes and ways to win, check out page 20 of the event passport.
“When you are well informed and a happy resident of the area you’re all the more willing and likely to recommend this community to friends and family,” Dwyer said. “I think it does something to you as an individual to have pride in the town that you live in.
“This is an opportunity to kind of infuse yourself with that pride by seeing all there is to see and do.”
For more information, go to http://www.lansing.org/events/be-a-tourist/