Lansing, Michigan facts for kids
|City, state capital|
|City of Lansing|
Clockwise from Top Left: Downtown Lansing skyline, Michigan Supreme Court Hall of Justice, Cooley Law School Stadium, Michigan State Capitol
|Nickname(s): Capital City, L-Town, "The Heart of Michigan"|
Location in Ingham County, Michigan
|Counties||Ingham, Clinton, Eaton|
|• City||36.68 sq mi (95.00 km2)|
|• Land||36.05 sq mi (93.37 km2)|
|• Water||0.63 sq mi (1.63 km2)|
|• Urban||158.2 sq mi (354.4 km2)|
|• Metro||1,714.6 sq mi (4,440.8 km2)|
|Elevation||860 ft (262 m)|
|• Estimate (2015)||115,056|
|• Density||3,170.5/sq mi (1,224.1/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1625035|
Lansing // is the capital of the US state of Michigan. It is mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County. The 2010 Census placed the city's population at 114,297, making it the fifth largest city in Michigan. The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684. It was named the new state capital of Michigan in 1847, ten years after Michigan became a state.
The Lansing Metropolitan Area, colloquially referred to as "Mid-Michigan", is an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, commercial, and industrial functions. The area is home to two medical schools, one veterinary school, two nursing schools, two law schools—including Western Michigan University and Michigan State University—a Big Ten Conference university (Michigan State), the Michigan State Capitol, the state Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, a federal court, the Library of Michigan and Historical Center, and headquarters of four national insurance companies.
Lansing is the only U.S. state capital (among the 47 located in counties) that is not also a county seat. The seat of government of Ingham County is Mason, but the county maintains some offices in Lansing.
- Cultural celebrations
- Points of interest
- International relations
- Images for kids
The first recorded person of European descent to spot the area that is now Lansing was explorer Hugh Heward in 1790 while canoeing the Grand River. The land that was to become Lansing was surveyed as "Township 4 North Range 2 West" in February 1827 in what was then dense forest. It was the last of the county's townships to be surveyed, and the land was not offered for sale until October 1830. There would be no roads to this area for decades to come.
In the winter of 1835 and early 1836, two brothers from New York plotted the area now known as REO Town just south of downtown Lansing and named it "Biddle City". This land lay in a floodplain and was underwater during the majority of the year. Nevertheless, the brothers went back to Lansing, New York, to sell plots for the town that did not exist. They told the New Yorkers this new "city" had an area of 65 blocks, a church and a public and academic square. 16 men bought plots in the nonexistent city, and upon reaching the area later that year found they had been scammed. Many in the group too disappointed to stay ended up settling around what is now metropolitan Lansing. Those who stayed quickly renamed the area "Lansing Township" in honor of their home village in New York.
The settlement of fewer than 20 people would remain dormant until the winter of 1847 when the state constitution required the capital be moved from Detroit to a more central and safer location in the state's interior; many were concerned about Detroit's proximity to British-controlled Canada, which had captured Detroit in the War of 1812. The United States had recaptured the city in 1813, but these events led to the dire need to have the center of government relocate from hostile British territory. There was also concern with Detroit's strong influence over Michigan politics, being the state's largest city as well as the capital city.
During the multi-day session to determine a new location for the state capital, many cities, including Ann Arbor, Marshall, and Jackson, lobbied hard to win this designation. Unable to publicly reach a consensus because of constant political wrangling, the Michigan House of Representatives privately chose the Township of Lansing out of frustration. When announced, many present openly laughed that such an insignificant settlement was now Michigan's capital. Two months later, Governor William L. Greenly signed into law the act of the legislature making Lansing Township the state capital.
With the announcement that Lansing Township had been made the capital, the small village quickly transformed into the seat of state government. The legislature gave the settlement the temporary name of the "Town of Michigan". In April 1848, the legislature then gave the settlement the name of "Lansing". Within months after it became the capital city, individual settlements began to develop along three key points along the Grand River in the township:
- "Lower Village/Town", where present-day Old Town stands, was the oldest of the three villages. It was home to the first house built in Lansing in 1843 by pioneer James Seymour and his family. Lower Town began to develop in 1847 with the completion of the Franklin Avenue (now Grand River Avenue) covered bridge over the Grand River.
- "Upper Village/Town", where present-day REO Town stands at the confluence of the Grand River and the Red Cedar River. It began to take off in 1847 when the Main Street Bridge was constructed over the Grand River. This village's focal point was the Benton House, a 4-story hotel which opened in 1848. It was the first brick building in Lansing and was later razed in 1900.
In 1859, the settlement having grown to nearly 3,000 and encompassing about 7 square miles (18 km2) in area was incorporated as a city. The boundaries of the original city were Douglas Avenue to the north, Wood and Regent streets to the east, Mount Hope Avenue to the south, and Jenison Avenue to the west. These boundaries would remain until 1916. Lansing began to grow steadily over the next two decades with the completion of the railroads through the city, a plank road, and the completion of the current capitol building in 1878.
Most of what is known as Lansing today is the result of the city becoming an industrial powerhouse which began with the founding of Olds Motor Vehicle Company in August 1897. The company went through many changes, including a buyout, between its founding to 1905 when founder Ransom E. Olds started his new REO Motor Car Company, which would last in Lansing for another 70 years. Olds would be joined by the less successful Clarkmobile around 1903. Over the next decades, the city would be transformed into a major American industrial center for the manufacturing of automobiles and parts, among other industries. The city also continued to grow in area. By 1956, the city had grown to 15 square miles (39 km2), and doubled in size over the next decade to its current size of roughly 33 square miles (85 km2).
Today, the city's economy is diversified among government service, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, banking, and education.
On September 26, 1963, a 12-year-old, 3,000-pound female dancing elephant named Rajje (alternately reported as Raji and Little Rajjee, among other variations) rebelled against her trainer during a performance in a shopping-center circus near what was then Logan Street and Holmes Road in Lansing, and escaped into the streets, aggravated by the frenzied pursuit of nearly 4,000 local residents. The incident ended with the shooting of the elephant by Lansing police. Provoked by the growing crowd, Rajje's rampage took her through the men's wear, sporting goods and gift departments of a local Arlan's discount store before leading police on a two-mile chase in which she knocked down and injured a 67-year-old man, tried to move a car, and caused thousands of dollars in damage before being subdued.
Life Magazine quoted Rajje's trainer, William Pratt, as shouting at the scene, "Damn these people [...] They wouldn't leave her alone."
The incident was widely reported, including a photospread in Life. While the Lansing State Journal coverage stressed the danger of the incident, the Detroit Free Press noted that witnesses cried out "Murderers! Murderers!" as police fired eight shots.
Author Nelson Algren cites the injustice and sad end of the pursuit of "Raji, the Pixie-Eared Elephant" in continuity with the ambush of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in his introduction to a 1968 biography of the outlaws. Then teenage Lansing residents who had goaded the elephant on recalled the incident with sober regret in a local newspaper retrospective in 2011.
- 1825 – Lansing Township is surveyed.
- 1836 – A pair of New York speculators plot and market a non-existent city known as "Biddle City". The New Yorkers that bought into the idea arrive in Lansing to discover that the plots they had bought are located in a marsh, and are underwater. Some of the pioneers stay, but develop a village in what is now Old Town Lansing a mile north of the non-existent "Biddle City".
- 1843 – Construction of the first house in Lansing Township is completed by pioneer settler James Seymour and his family.
- 1847 – The state capital moves from Detroit to Lansing Township.
- 1855 – Michigan State University is founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan.
- 1859 – The city of Lansing is officially incorporated with about 3,000 citizens inside 7.5 square miles (19 km2).
- 1879 – New State Capitol dedicated. The structure cost $1,510,130.
- 1881 – Michigan Millers Insurance Company founded.
- 1883 - Judge Rollin H. Person begins his private law practice in Lansing after serving as a district judge. The firm, known today as Fraser Trebilcock, plays an integral role in the development of the Lansing business community, when firm attorneys assist Ransom E. Olds in obtaining property for the first Olds Motorworks in a facility in Lansing.
- 1897 – Ransom E. Olds drives his first car down a Lansing street. Later that year he founds the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, which would become the Oldsmobile division of General Motors in 1908. He was also the founder of the REO Motor Car Company in 1904, both headquartered in Lansing.
- 1904 – The "most extensive flood in 135 years of local history" causes the Grand River to overflow its banks on March 24–27, leading to major damage and one death. Bridges at Logan Street, Kalamazoo Street, Cedar Street and Mt. Hope Road are all washed away. The Kalamazoo Street bridge lodges against the Michigan Avenue bridge; it is later salvaged and re-erected at Kalamazoo Street.
- 1910 – The population of the city nearly doubles from the 1900 census to 31,229.
- 1912 – The Accident Fund Insurance Company of America founded.
- 1916 – Auto-Owners Insurance Company founded.
- 1929 – The Lansing Symphony Orchestra founded.
- 1936 - Quality Dairy Company, Lansing's Only Dairy (now operating 31 stores in the area) is founded.
- 1940 – Lansing's population stagnates, only rising by 356 over the decade to 78,753.
- 1954 – Frandor Mall opens – first in the area, and second in the state.
- 1956 – The city reaches 15 square miles (39 km2) in size.
- 1957 – Lansing Community College founded.
- 1959 - New City Hall and Police Department buildings are opened.
- 1959 - Lansing's Centennial is celebrated.
- 1960 – The city's population finally breaks the 100,000 mark at 107,807.
- 1961 – Jackson National Life Insurance Company founded.
- 1965 – The city reaches 33.3 square miles (86.2 km2) in size.
- 1970 – Lansing reaches its peak population of 131,546.
- 1972 – The Thomas M. Cooley Law School founded.
- 1980 – Lansing's population declines for the first time, losing 989 to hit 130,414.
- 1989 – The Library of Michigan and Historical Center near the Capitol Complex are dedicated.
- 1992 – The Michigan State Capitol completes an extensive renovation to restore it to its original grandeur.
- 1998 – Mayor David Hollister signs a 425 Agreement with Alaiedon Township in September to facilitate the development of the headquarters of Jackson National Life Insurance Company.
- 1999 – Mayor David Hollister signs a 425 Agreement with Meridian Township in November to facilitate the development of the Governor's Collection/College Fields upscale housing development and golf course.
- 2000 – Lansing's population experiences its greatest drop in its history, falling over 6% over the preceding decade to 119,128.
- 2001 – GM opens new assembly plant, Lansing Grand River Assembly. Builds the Cadillac CTS, STS, SRX and V-Series. The architecture of the assembly plant resembles a high-tech research facility instead of a traditional factory.
- 2002 – The Hall of Justice (Michigan Supreme Court building) at the west end of the Capitol Complex is dedicated.
- 2004 – Last Oldsmobile rolls off the assembly line at Lansing Car Assembly on April 29. This same year the Thomas M. Cooley Law School becomes the largest law school in the nation.
- 2005 – Mayor Tony Benavides signs a series of three 425 Agreements with Delta Township and General Motors facilitating the development General Motors' Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant.
- 2006 – GM opens a state-of-the-art facility in nearby Delta Charter Township. As with the 2001 assembly plant built in Lansing, the Delta plant resembles a high-tech research facility and not a traditional factory.
- 2006 — Lansing's Potter Park Zoo becomes regionalized after a ballot proposal passed to transfer the zoo's operation and maintenance to Ingham County.
- 2007 – Mayor Virg Bernero's Southside Citizen Action Team conducts a comprehensive destination search for the Southside Community Center, which was established at the Lansing School District's Hill Center. (In 2012, it was re-dedicated as the Alfreda Schmidt Southside Community Center, in honor of a well-known community advocate/former councilmember.)
- 2008 – Accident Fund Insurance Company of America announces the renovation of the Ottawa Street Power Station and addition of modern buildings connected by an atrium for their new headquarters.
- 2009 – The city's Sesquicentennial is celebrated.
- 2009 – Auto-Owners Insurance Co. announces it will invest $105.3 million into expanding its Lansing headquarters and adding 800 new jobs.
- 2010 – The Eyde Development Company announces they will be spending $22–$24 million to renovate the landmark Knapp's Building in downtown Lansing.
- 2010 – Kiplinger names Lansing one of the "10 Great Cities for Young Adults".
- 2012 – Parade Magazine ranks Lansing as one of America's hardest-working towns. Lansing was noted for a long average work week and scored several points above the national average in workers giving up their personal time and weekends for work.
- 2015 – GM's Lansing Grand River Plant begins producing Chevrolet Camaros, the first Camaros built in the U.S. since 1992. The plant made $175 million in upgrades and hired 500 new workers to make these Camaros.
Lansing is the centerpiece of a region of Michigan known as Mid-Michigan or Central Michigan.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.68 square miles (95.00 km2), of which 36.05 square miles (93.37 km2) is land and 0.63 square miles (1.63 km2) is water. This figure includes two 425 Agreements with Alaiedon Township and Meridian Township, and the four 425 Agreements with Delta Township since 2000.
Since the 2010 Census, the city has entered into two additional 425 Agreements. The first agreement consisted of the temporary transfer of 1,888.2 acres of Lansing Capital Region International Airport to the city from DeWitt Township in 2011. The second agreement consisted of the temporary transfer of 41 acres (17 ha) in Alaiedon Township for the expansion of the headquarters of Jackson National Life Insurance Company in 2013 bringing the area either fully or conditionally under control of the city to 39.69 square miles (102.80 km2).
Under Michigan law, 425 Agreements are only temporary land sharing agreements, and do not count as official annexations. The Census Bureau, however, for statistical purposes does count these as annexations. Not counting the temporary 425 Agreements, Lansing administers 34.1 square miles (88 km2) total.
Lansing is located in the south-central part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, where the Grand River meets the Red Cedar River. The city occupies most of what had formerly been part of Lansing Charter Township. It has also annexed adjacent tracts of land in Delta Charter Township and Windsor Township in Eaton County to the west, Delhi Charter Township in Ingham County to the south, and in DeWitt Charter Township in Clinton County to the north. The city also controls three non-contiguous tracts of land through 425 Agreements (conditional land transfer agreements) with Meridian Charter Township, Delta Charter Township, and Alaiedon Township in Ingham County to the southeast.
Lansing elevations range between 890 feet (271 m) above sea level on the far south side of Lansing along Northrup Street near the Cedar Street intersection, to 833 feet (254 m) to 805.5 feet (246 m) above sea level along the Grand River.
The Grand River, the largest river in Michigan, flows through downtown Lansing, and the Red Cedar River, a tributary of the Grand, flows through the campus of Michigan State University to its confluence with the Grand in Lansing. Sycamore Creek, a tributary of the Red Cedar, flows northward through the southeastern part of the city. There are two lakes in the area, Park Lake and Lake Lansing, both northeast of the city. Lake Lansing is approximately 500 acres (2.0 km2) in size and is a summer favorite for swimmers, boaters, and fishermen. Michigan State University Sailing Club and the Lansing Sailing Club are located on Lake Lansing, where sailing regattas are hosted throughout the summer.
The City of Lansing operates a total of 3.55 square miles (9.2 km2) of parkland, of which 2.80 square miles (7.3 km2) is parkland, 0.43 square miles (1.1 km2) are golflands, and 0.31 square miles (0.80 km2) are cemetery lands. However, this figure includes the Waverly Hills Golf Course and adjacent Michigan Avenue Park, whose 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) are located within neighboring Lansing Township, but operated by the City of Lansing, and does not include the 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) of the combined Hawk Island County Park and adjacent Soldan Dog Park operated by Ingham County within the city of Lansing. All together then, 3.55 square miles (9.2 km2) of the city (or approximately 10%) is publicly administered open space.
Lansing has a Midwestern humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb/Dfa) that is influenced by the Great Lakes, and is part of USDA Hardiness zone 5b. Winters are cold with moderate to heavy snowfall, while summers are very warm and humid. The monthly daily average temperature in July is 71.5 °F (21.9 °C), while the same figure for January is 23.4 °F (−4.8 °C); the annual mean is 48.21 °F (9.01 °C). On average, temperatures reach or exceed 90 °F (32.2 °C) on 8.8 days of the year and drop to or below 0 °F (−17.8 °C) on 10−11 nights. Precipitation is generally greatest during summer but still frequent and significant in winter. Snowfall, which normally occurs from November to April, averages 51.1 inches (130 cm) per season, significantly less than areas to the west such as Grand Rapids as Lansing is relatively immune to lake-effect snows; seasonal snowfall has historically ranged from 16.6 in (42 cm) in 1863−64 to 97.2 in (247 cm) in 1880−81. The highest and lowest officially recorded temperatures were 103 °F (39 °C) on July 6, 2012, and −37 °F (−38 °C) on February 2, 1868, with the last −20 °F (−29 °C) or colder reading occurred on February 27, 1994; the record low maximum is −4 °F (−20 °C) on January 22, 1883, while, conversely, the record high minimum is 78 °F (26 °C) on August 1, 2006 and July 18, 1942. Freezing temperatures in June are exceedingly rare and have not occurred in July or August since the 19th century; on average, they arrive on October 4 and depart on May 7, allowing a growing season of 149 days. The average window for measurable snow (≥0.1 in or 0.25 cm) is November 4 thru April 6.
|Climate data for Lansing, Michigan (Capital Region Int'l), 1981−2010 normals, extremes 1863−present|
|Record high °F (°C)||66
|Average high °F (°C)||30.1
|Daily mean °F (°C)||23.4
|Average low °F (°C)||16.8
|Record low °F (°C)||−29
|Precipitation inches (mm)||1.65
|Snowfall inches (cm)||13.8
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||13.4||10.6||11.2||12.1||11.6||10.3||9.5||9.9||10.7||10.9||12.7||13.9||136.8|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||12.5||9.8||5.8||1.8||0||0||0||0||0||0.3||3.7||10.8||44.7|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961−1990)|
The city's downtown is dominated by state government buildings, especially the State Capitol; but downtown has also experienced recent growth in new restaurants, retail stores and residential developments. Downtown Lansing has a historic city market that is one of the oldest continuously operating farmers' markets in the United States. Upriver and north of downtown is historic Old Town Lansing with many architecturally significant buildings dating to the mid-19th century. Directly south of downtown on the other side of I-496 along Washington Avenue lies "REO Town", the birthplace of the automobile in the United States, is where Ransom Eli Olds built factories along Washington Avenue. Ransom Eli Olds' home, which once overlooked the factories along Washington Avenue, was displaced by I-496.
Lansing is generally divided into four sections: Eastside, Westside, Northwestside, and the Southside. Each section contains a diverse array of neighborhoods. The Eastside, located east of the Grand River and north of the Red Cedar River, is the most ethnically diverse side of Lansing, with foreign-born citizens making up more of its population than any other side in the city. The Eastside's commercial districts are located mainly along Michigan Avenue, and to a lesser extent along Kalamazoo Street. It is anchored by Frandor Shopping Center on the very eastern edge of the eastside.
The Westside, roughly located north, west, and south of the Grand River as it curves through the city, is sometimes regarded the city's most socio-economically diverse section. This side also contains Lansing's downtown area, though this neighborhood is often included as an area all its own. Outside downtown, this side is largely a collection of residential neighborhoods and is served by only one other commercial area along Saginaw Street. However, it also includes a small part of the Old Town Commercial Association.
The Northwestside, generally located north of the Grand River, with the city limits defining its north and western borders, is physically the smallest side of the city. This part of the city includes moderate-density residential areas and some green areas. North of Grand River Avenue, the main street of the side, lie warehouses and light industrial areas served by a major rail line that runs through Lansing. The most notable landmark of this side is Lansing's airport: Capital Region International Airport.
The Southside, usually described as the neighborhoods located south of the Grand and Red Cedar rivers and the I-496 freeway, is physically the largest and most populous side of the city. The area is largely residential in nature (south of Mount Hope Road near the northern edge), and is served by numerous commercial strips along Cedar Street, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Waverly Road, which run north/south. The large Edgewood District is located in the southernmost part of the Southside and is sometimes referred to as South Lansing. Though it is the largest area of the city by both physical size and population, it has often been regarded by Southside citizens as Lansing's most overlooked and forgotten area, as most of Lansing's attention in recent decades has been put into the revitalization of the city's historic core located mostly on small parts of both the East and Westsides.
The middle of the Southside—South-Central Lansing—contains the Old Everett Area. This location once contained the Everett School District and was annexed into the city in 1948.
- Cherry Hill
- Churchill Downs
- Colonial Village
- Gier Park
- Moores Park
- Museum District
- Old Everett
- Old Town
- REO Town
- Stadium District
- Washington Square
As of the census of 2010, there were 114,297 people, 48,450 households, and 26,234 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,174.9 per square mile (1,226.3/km2). There were 54,181 housing units at an average density of 1,505.0 per square mile (581.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 61.2% White (55.5% Non-Hispanic White), 23.7% African American, 0.8% Native American, 3.7% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.3% from other races, and 6.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.5% of the population. Foreign-born residents made up 8.3% of the population.
The median age in the city was 32.2 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30.2% were from 25 to 44; 23.8% were from 45 to 64; and 9.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 119,128 people, 49,505 households, and 28,366 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,399.0 per square mile (1,312.3/km²). There were 53,159 housing units at an average density of 1,516.8/sq mi (585.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.28% White (61.4% non-Hispanic White), 21.91% African American, 0.80% Native American, 2.83% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 4.54% from other races, and 4.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.0% of the population. The city's foreign-born population stood at 5.9%.
As of 2000, the city's population rose by 32,293 (27%) to 151,421 during the day due to the influx of workers.
There were 49,505 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,833, and the median income for a family was $41,283. Males had a median income of $32,648 versus $27,051 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,924. About 13.2% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.2% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.
Immigration and refugee resettlement
The Brookings Institution has ranked Greater Lansing among the top 10 "medium-sized metropolitan areas" in the United States for refugee resettlement, with 5,369 refugees resettled from 1983 to 2004. St. Vincent Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services handle the adult and unaccompanied minor resettlement processes, respectively, while other organizations, such as the Refugee Development Center, focus on providing educational and social support services to refugees in the Lansing area. Nearby Michigan State University provides a source of volunteers for many of these programs.
As of 2005[update], the Lansing area has about 2,000 Arab Americans, mostly second generation Christian Lebanese Americans as well as some Palestinian Americans.
Each year in August, the Michigan Pride festival includes a LGBT 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 over a decade. The chair of the CCAACA is the Rev. Dr. Michael C. Murphy, who was pastor of St. Stephen's Community Church and is currently the pastor of Peoples Congregational, United Church of Christ, Washington D.C. He is a former State Representative for the 68th House District in Michigan, former President of the Lansing City Council, 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 celebrated 10 years.
The annual Silver Bells in the City Electric Light Parade proceeds through the streets of downtown Lansing every November, the Friday before Thanksgiving. It is 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.
The Lansing Symphony Orchestra has been entertaining generations of Lansing-area residents since 1929. The current music director is Timothy Muffett.
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 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 world-renowned German-style beer.
It was announced in May 2007 that the city would host "Blues on the Square", a series of summertime blues concerts featuring national acts Thursday nights along Washington Square in downtown Lansing. In 2008 the event regularly drew crowds over 500.
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 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 2011 winner was pop punk act Frank and Earnest.
Points of interest
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 Westside Farmers' Market, the Old Town Farmer's Market, the South Lansing 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.
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.
Lansing Art Gallery
The Lansing Art Gallery, founded in 1965, is Lansing's oldest art gallery and a non-profit membership organization. Showcasing the works of Michigan artists, the gallery is committed to providing cultural enhancement opportunities for Michigan residents. The museum is open to the public with free admission.
Lansing is home to a number of small, specialized museums:
- The Impression 5 Science Center is a children's science center located in a historic wagon works factory on the Grand River.
- 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.
- The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame is 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 R. E. Olds Transportation Museum is dedicated to the education of Lansing's role in the development of transportation, particularly the automobile.
- The Turner-Dodge House is 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 Riverwalk Theatre, (formerly the Okemos Barn Theatre), the Lansing Civic Players, and the now defunct BoarsHead Theater are or were all located in downtown.
- Peppermint Creek Theatre Company is a well established "new" award-winning theater company.
- Happendance, Michigan's longest-running professional modern dance company, has been based in Greater Lansing since 1976.
- 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.
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.
Other area destinations
In October 2009 the Wharton Center for Performing Arts completed a 24,000 square feet (2,230 m2), $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 East Lansing museum that was completed in November 2012.
Scheduled commercial airline service is offered from Capital Region International Airport (formerly known as Capital City Airport). Delta Air Lines maintains routes to Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Atlanta. United Airlines maintains routes to Chicago O'Hare. Allegiant Air flies to Orlando, Florida. Sun Country Airlines offers non-stop flights to Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Apple Vacations provides seasonal flights to Cancún, Mexico; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. UPS has a freight hub at Capital Region International Airport making up part of the 42 million pounds of annual cargo moving through the airport. In 2008 the airport received a port of entry designation – known as Port Lansing – and now has a permanent customs facility, thus changing its name to reflect the port of entry status. The same year a 500-foot (150 m) extension to the largest of the three runways – now 8,506-foot (2,593 m) – was completed to allow for larger aircraft to use the airport.
- I-69 runs from Indianapolis north to Lansing and east to Flint and Port Huron, connecting to Canada.
- I-96 runs from Muskegon, past Grand Rapids and Lansing, to Detroit.
- I-496 loops through downtown Lansing, connecting with I-96 on either end.
- BL I-69 is a loop route running through Lansing and East Lansing.
- BL I-96 is a loop route running through Lansing.
- [[Template:Infobox road/MI/link Capitol Loop|Template:Infobox road/MI/abbrev Capitol Loop]] a loop route off I-496 serving the state capitol and other downtown facilities.
- US 127 is a north–south highway passing between the city and neighboring East Lansing, continuing northerly toward Clare and Grayling and southerly toward Jackson, Michigan and into Ohio.
- M-43 (Saginaw Street/Grand River Avenue)
- M-99 (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard)
- Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service at a stop in nearby East Lansing, on the Blue Water line from Chicago to Port Huron.
- Three freight railroads serve Lansing including Canadian National Railway, CSX Transportation, and the Jackson & Lansing Railroad.
- Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) provides public transit bus service to the Lansing-East Lansing Metropolitan area on 33 routes. CATA boasts the second highest ridership in the state of Michigan after Detroit with 53,000 daily rides in September 2008 and 11,306,339 rides in fiscal year 2008. CATA also provides paratransit services through Spec-Tran and the "Night Owl." Also, the "Entertainment Express" (CATA route 4) runs Thursday through Saturday from 7 pm to 2 am connecting downtown Lansing's and East Lansing's entertainment districts. CATA won APTA's America's Best Transit Award in the medium-size category (4–30 million rides) in 2007. CATA has two transportation centers (CTC), one in downtown Lansing and one on the campus of Michigan State University. In 2010, a study was conducted to consider ways of enhancing the Lansing-to-East Lansing route (currently known as Route 1), with options including enhanced bus service, single-car trolley service and light rail service. (Heavy rail was eliminated as an option early in the process, with enhanced bus service eventually winning out.)
- Greyhound Lines provides inter-city bus service. CATA and Greyhound are both located in the CATA Transportation Center (CTC) in downtown Lansing.
- Several taxicab companies serve the area. In 2001, Big Daddy Taxi opened using large vans to address the safety concerns of drunk driving and offered $3 rides for students of Michigan State University. In 2008 the Green Cab Company opened using Toyota Prius hybrid cars to provide "green" cabs to Lansing.
- The Michigan Flyer provides bus service between Lansing and Detroit Metro Airport 12 times daily, with a stop in Ann Arbor along the way.
- The 13-mile (21 km), non-motorized Lansing River Trail runs along the Grand River and the Red Cedar River, running as far east as Michigan State University, and passes Potter Park Zoo, the Capitol Loop, and several other destinations of interest, and as far west as Moores Park. The trail is accessible at many points along it, some with car parking lots. The trails breadth is extended from time to time. Currently, the trailheads are: North - Dietrich Park; East - Kircher Park; South - Maguire Park; West - Moores Park. All segments are hard-surfaced. The River Trail connects to other pathways/trails in the Lansing-metro area: East - Michigan State University path system; South - Sycamore Trail. Since the trail follows a river, most street crossings use platforms under existing street bridges to provide an uncommon amount of grade separation, to the benefit of both trail users and automobile traffic. As of February 2015, the River Trail is under construction to add paths as far as Holt.
Water supply, power and steam are municipally owned utilities which are provided by Lansing Board of Water & Light. In 2008 the Lansing BWL constructed Michigan's largest solar array towards the goal of increasing renewable energy in the energy grid.
Natural gas is provided by Consumers Energy.
- Adoagyiri, Ghana
- Guadalajara, Mexico
- Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
- Saltillo, Mexico
- Sanming, Fujian, People's Republic of China
- Asan, South Korea
Lansing was a sister city of Kubyashi District in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The agreement began in 1992 and ended in practice when a change to the political structure of Saint Petersburg cancelled the district. The relations were officially severed by Lansing in 2013 as a protest of the laws against LGBT rights in Russia.
Lansing also has four "friendship cities":
- Balaskovitz, Andy. "Despite hurdles, consolidating Lansing, East Lansing and Lansing Township makes sense." Lansing City Pulse. Wednesday, November 28, 2012. News section. Available on NewsBank, Record Number: 33658e6f3e435749c466e59bf44dd1b692752.
|DeWitt, St. Johns, Mt. Pleasant||East Lansing,
|Grand Ledge, Hastings||Okemos, Williamston|
|Charlotte, Battle Creek,
|Mason, Jackson||Howell, Brighton,
Ann Arbor, Detroit
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