Category Archives: Holiday

Everything You Need to Know About the Pure Ludington NYE Ball Drop

Did you know what every December 31st in Downtown Ludington we hoist a six foot ball covered in 6,000 LED lights up into the air, let you dance under it for a few hours then lower it to the ground at the stroke of midnight followed by an awesome display of fireworks?

It’s an amazing, FREE, family-friendly way to ring in the New Year. Evening activities begin at 9:00pm when the entertainment area in the North James Street Plaza opens for music, dancing and beer tasting.  Then at midnight, the ball drops down from high above the main intersection in downtown. Once the clock strikes midnight, turn your attention to the night’s sky for an amazing fireworks salute to the New Year!

The event is always very busy, so it is recommended to buy your commemorative beer mugs and drink tokens in advance online.

Family Friendly NYE Parties All ages are welcome at the NYE Ball Drop and in the entertainment area in the North James Street Plaza, but for those of you looking to celebrate with young kids, we have you covered.

Sandcastles Children’s Museum opens up for a special NYE balloon drop featuring more than 500 balloons! The party also will feature live music, food, favors, ice cream sundaes, crafts, photo booth and more. $10 per person or $35 per family. The party is from 5-8pm.

The Ludington Library is also hosting an evening of great family activities including FREE crafts, games and activities for partygoers of all ages. At 11:30 p.m., the party closes so everyone can stroll downtown to enjoy the ball drop. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

New Year’s Day The party is not over after the ball drop. Wake up and get a great breakfast (or lunch depending on what time you wake up!) in to kick-off the day. Here are some of our favorites that will be open New Year’s Day:

For those of you with “get healthy” as part of your new year resolutions, you can get a jump-start by taking part in the Resolution Run 5K at 11am on January 1. $25 entry fee includes a custom die-cast finishers medal.

Register online or on race day at Ludington Pub from 10 to 11 a.m.

As always, please share your photos and videos with us by tagging them:

7 Things to Do this 4th of July Holiday Weekend in Ludington

s Happening fireworks

Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography

If you are looking to celebrate the 4th of July, Pure Ludington must be on your list. This small town does 4th of July big!  To make your trip easier, we have put together a list of things to be sure to check out if you are in the Ludington Area this holiday weekend: 

1. Kick off the holiday weekend in Downtown Ludington. These is always something new to see and do in Downtown Ludington, which is why if you are in town this weekend, you must take stroll along Ludington Avenue and South James Street to see what is new. Stop by the North James Street Plaza on Thursday evening (June 30) for live music! There are great outdoor dining options and quaint shops for you to find something to take home to remember your trip to Ludington.

2. Spend a day at one of Michigan’s top beaches. Summer is finally here and a trip to Ludington isn’t complete without a day at the beach. Known for our award winning sugar-sand beaches, there are plenty of places along the shoreline for you to enjoy the sun, sand and fresh water of Lake Michigan.


Photo courtesy of Ludington Area Center for the Arts

3. Enjoy the West Shore Art Fair. July 2 & 3, the Ludington Area Center for the Arts will be hosting the West Shore Art Fair at Rotary Park (formerly City Park), an annual tradition in Ludington for 48 years. This open-air, juried fine art and fine crafts show features 100-plus fine artists in a variety of media, including clay, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting and photography. The show features live music, food stations and a children’s activity area.

4. Catch the Hamlin Lake fireworks on Saturday evening. If you are all about the fireworks, you can catch 2 nights of fireworks in Ludington this weekend starting with the show over Hamlin Lake on Saturday, July 2. An annual fireworks tradition at Hamlin Lake since the 1970s, this fireworks display is best viewed by boat in the Upper Lake from Indian Pete Bayou west to Victory Park, or on the south shore of the Upper Lake. If you don’t have a boat, you can rent a boat from places like Hamlin Lake Boat Rentals for you and the family to enjoy a spectacular view of the fireworks. If you would rather stay on land, Wilson Hill Park is a great place to watch from and there is an ice cream social prior to the display. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

5. Take part in the Freedom Festival Children & Pet Parade. Get the kids and your four legged friends dressed in their best patriotic garb and celebrate the holiday weekend in style. This family-friendly event takes place on Sunday, July 3 and begins at the corner of Loomis and Ferry Streets and proceeds to the Waterfront Park Pavilion, where prizes will be awarded.

4th of july -92

Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography

6. Take part in the tradition by attending the Freedom Festival Grand Parade. The Freedom Festival Grand Parade is one for your weekend list of must-do’s while here for the 4th of July. This small town knows how to put on a big parade. You will want to find your seat along Ludington Avenue between Madison Street and Lakeshore Drive early, but the parade doesn’t begin until 2pm. The kids will be able to see firetrucks, classic cars, animals and of course the Scottville Clown Band! You can follow the parade to the beach and enjoy an afternoon picnic on the beach until the fireworks later in the evening.

7. Take in the amazing Fireworks over Lake Michigan. This 20 minute display brings 20,000 people to the Lake Michigan shoreline in Ludington. Before dusk, make your way to Stearns Park Beach and dig yourself a cozy spot in the sand to lay back and take in the amazing colors and sounds of the show. It is the perfect ending to a 4th of July done right in Ludington!

Come explore the Americana traditions and celebrations of Independence Day here in Pure Ludington

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues in Downtown Ludington

The winter weather looks like it will make one last appearance (keep your fingers crossed!) later this week, but don’t let that keep you holed up at home. Our friends in Downtown Ludington put together this hot list of things to do downtown to keep you busy and enjoying the last bit of winter.

1. Knittin At The Mitten (Sitting At Barley & Rye)
Grab some yarn and your needles and hooks! This social group meets every Tuesday at 6:00pm at Barley & Rye. Join the Knittin At The Mitten Facebook Group

2. Learn to Knit or Crochet at Nautical Yarn
Nautical Yarn is just off the main drag on South Rath and it’s full of skeins galore! Get all of your supplies and sign up for classes.

3. Attend an Inspired Painting Party
This group plans painting parties at various Downtown Ludington locations including Love Wines and Luciano’s Ristoranti. Like their Facebook page and subscribe to their events to find out when parties are added to the schedule.

4. Take a Fitness Class
Get off the couch and warm up at Ludington Spin & Yoga, Ludington Crossfit orLudington Area Center for the Arts. All of these locations offer classes that will get you sweating!

5. Join in a Jam Session
If you play an instrument, there are two weekly jam sessions that you can sit in on. Pickin at the Mitten is every Tuesday at 6pm at The Mitten Bar. SandJams is every Wednesday at 7pm at the Sandbar.


St. Patrick’s Day In Downtown Ludington Offers A Day o’ Fun


12565381_10153861433688794_9014343406146470413_nThis weekend is shaping up to be a continuation of the warm weather we are having here in Pure Ludington, which is a great setting for the weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities happening in Downtown Ludington. Here is the run down of all of the fun!

Kegs & Eggs Breakfast & Bloody Mary Bar I 9AM I Barley & Rye                                                         Kick off the day with a hearty breakfast and bloody mary bar at Barley & Rye! It is the perfect spot to start your day downtown. You will need the fuel for all of the fun you are going to have in downtown!

Shamrock 5K + 1 Mile Fun Run I Race 9AM & 9:15AM I Registration 8AM
Start/Finish: Rath Ave/Loomis St (Parking Lot behind Sportsman’s Irish Pub)
Cost: $25.00 I Fun Run is free.
Includes T-shirt and finisher medal. All race proceeds benefit the Love Ludington Fund.

IRISH I WAS SHOPPING I 10AM – 6PM                                                                                                        If you haven’t been shopping downtown in a while, you will find many new businesses! Take a stroll through downtown to check out the new selection and great deals.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade I 12PM I South James Street & Ludington Avenue                                      The celebration of green fun and crazy shenanigans will make its way from South James Street to Ludington Avenue. Come see the fun and collect some candy too!

Starving Artist Hub Bub Pub Crawl I 12PM – 12AM                                                                              Adults 21 years of age are inviting to take in the Hub Bub Pub Crawl brought to you by Ludington’s newest nano-brewery, Starving Artist Brewing Company. Sound like fun? Anyone wanting to take part in the shenanigans should register and reserve your spot for $5 online. There are only 200 pub crawl entries available this year, so get your’s fast. Any remaining wristbands n the day-of will be available at Sportsman’s Irish Pub and PM Steamers. What do you get for your $5 entry? A commemorative Starving Artist St. Patrick’s Day Pint Glass and a wristband that gets you $1 off drafts at 12 different Downtown Ludington bars, a map of the participating bars and a stamp sheet.

Obviously with a jam-packed day like Saturday, you are going to need to refuel. Stop by Sportsman’s Irish Pub or any of the other downtown restaurants for green beer, Irish Car Bomb cocktails and corned beef & cabbage!

For more information on St. Patrick’s Day in downtown Ludington, check out the Downtown Ludington Facebook page or website.


4 Ways to Kick-off the New Year in Pure Ludington

Watermarked_Todd Reed_Day 365 of 365-December 31_2010 (1)

Ludington’s biggest annual celebration takes place each winter on New Year’s Eve. Billed as “West Michigan’s largest New Year’s Eve Ball,” Ludington’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop offers the quintessential, small-town New Year’s Eve celebration – complete with an outdoor beer garden and music, a ball drop with 6,000 LED lights in the heart of downtown, plus fireworks. Here are 5 ways to ring in 2016 here in Pure Ludington!

Todd Reed_8524_New Years Ball Drop_2010_square crop_watermarked1. Countdown Party & New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

Evening activities begin with a countdown party at 9:30 p.m. when the entertainment tent opens for music, dancing and beer tasting. Then at midnight, the ball will drop from high above the intersection of James Street and Ludington Avenue at the core of downtown, which is open only to pedestrians that night. Once the clock strikes midnight, spectacular fireworks launch over the rooftops of downtown.

The New Year’s Eve event is free, though beer is available for purchase. Commemorative glasses will be sold for $8 in advance or $10 that evening.


2. Free Family Parties to Enjoy with Small Kids

The New Year’s Eve Ball Drop is a family-friendly event, but there are also some great pre-parties for families to enjoy before heading outside or for little ones who can’t stay awake until midnight. The Ludington Library hosts a pre-ball drop party beginning at 7pm for families and children of all ages. There are plenty of crafts and games to enjoy before walking over to the Ball Drop at 11:30pm. Sandcastle’s Children’s Museum, also located downtown, hosts a NYE Balloon Drop & Stomp for the kids! Both places offer a great place to stay warm and celebrate the New Year with your family.

3. New Year Resolution Run 5K

Looking to get a head start on your healthy New Year’s Resolution’s?  New Year’s Day kicks off with a Resolution Run 5K at 11:00a.m. on 1/1/2016. The race route takes runners through downtown Ludington, along Lake Michigan and the waterfront. Online registration is open and includes a t-shirt.

4. “Shoe Years” Lantern-lit Skiing/Snowshoeing and Guided Snowshoe Hikes at Ludington State Park 

Lantern Lit_LSPA variety of nature trails in the Ludington area become excellent cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the winter – and one of the most popular places for a winter sojourn is at 5,300-acre Ludington State ParkOn January 2, the Ludington State Park hosts their Guided Snowshoe Hike at 2pm. The 1.5-hour guided snowshoe hike highlights the park’s nature and history through the park’s snow-covered sand dunes. Then at 6pm, bring cross-country skis and/or snowshoes to ski or walk an easy, one-mile groomed trail lit by oil lanterns that begins at the Warming Shelter inside the park.  Enjoy a campfire at either end to warm up and sip a hot beverage.

We hope you make a weekend of it and enjoy the beginnings of 2016 here in Pure Ludington!



Holiday Happenings in Pure Ludington


This weekend kick’s off the holiday season and Pure Ludington is celebrating too! Here are 5 things that should be on your holiday weekend bucket list. However you choose to kick-off the holiday season, we hope you have a warm weekend surrounded by those near and dear to you all! 

1.Creative HeARTS Gala – Friday, November 27 at 7PM

Put a little art into every heart this Christmas. This event is a holiday fundraising gala for the children’s programming at The Ludington Area Center for the Arts. The event will feature music, food, drinks, live canvas art, performances and much more. More information here.

2.  Small Business Saturday:  Saturday, November 28 from 11AM – 7PM

Support our local businesses and shop small this holiday season. Downtown Ludington businesses will be open from 11am – 7pm and offering great holiday specials and deals for your gift giving this Christmas season. Find the Downtown Ludington Booth in the James Street Plaza at 11am for a free canvas tote and other goodies along with 1 free entry to win the $1000 Gift Basket! Find out more details here.

3. 7th Annual Holiday Craft Show at LACA, Saturday November 28 from 10AM-4PM

Start your holiday shopping in Downtown Ludington with a stop at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts at their Holiday Craft Show. Shop for holiday gifts that are made with love and passion! 28 artists/crafters from West Michigan will have their holiday arts and crafts available for purchase.

4. Holiday Open Air Market & Christmas Tree Lot, Saturday November 28 in North James Street Plaza

From 11AM-8PM, Needlefast Evergreens have a downtown Christmas Tree lot set-up in the James Street Plaza. From 3-7PM enjoy the open-air holiday market complete will of your holiday goodies!

5. Aglow on the Avenue Holiday Parade, Saturday, November 28 at 6PM

Welcome Santa to town as he makes his way down Ludington Avenue during the holiday parade! Live holiday music will be in the North James Street Plaza and several downtown businesses will be unveiling their holiday light displays! Follow santa to Sandcastles Children’s Museum at 6:30pm for a chance to share your Christmas wishes with him!

 Check out our Holiday Happenings Pinterest Board  to pin and share the holiday fun!

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 5.16.24 PM copy

Haunted Fun Done 8 Ways In Pure Ludington

Halloween fanatics will find more than tricks and treats in Pure Ludington this Halloween weekend. Grab your brooms, masks and costumes and head to Pure Ludington for a thrilling weekend of fun and fright. Here are 8 of our haunted favorites happening this weekend:image1

1. Self-guided Cemetery Walk along the Lumber Heritage Trail 

The Mason County Lumber Heritage Trail includes stops at 2 cemeteries in Ludington. Your cell phone leads the way and will bring the stories of Ludington’s lumbermen to life. Who knows, you may even stumble upon ghosts of Justus Stearns or Warren Cartier along the way!

2. Haunted Eclectic Marketplace

Can you make it out alive? Test your fright level at downtown’s Eclectic Marketplace, located at 307 S. James Street. Stop by on Friday night from 6-11pm and Saturday night from 5-11:30pm for your thrills.

10582992_10152817488123189_7538366221224000376_o3. Rocktober: LudRock’s Night of Fright @ Ludington Area Center for the Arts

Friday evening from 6pm-12am, you do not want to miss the Night of Fright that will be rocking the Center for the Arts. Costumes, Starving Artists brews and food- what more could you ask for to kick-off your haunted fun?

4. Crane Wives @ The Mitten Bar

The Mitten Bar welcomes to their live music stage The Crane Wives. Kick-off the weekend of fright and fun with brews and beats at The Mitten Bar starting at 9pm. Costumes are encouraged!

5. Run For Your Lives 5K + 1 Mile Kids Run 

Grab your costumes and your running shoes and kick-off Halloween by taking part in the Run For Your Lives 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run on Saturday, October 31. Race steps-off at 10:30am.

10433214_10152779497368794_3520567816217206391_n6 . Downtown Ludington Trick-or-Treating & Costume Parade 

Parade your costume through downtown Ludington beginning at 1:30pm before downtown Trick-or-Treating begins. From 2-4pm downtown Ludington businesses invite families to come trick-or-treating and shop along the way.

7. Halloween Crafts and Trick-or-Treating @ Sandcastles Children’s Museum 

Sandcastles Children’s Museum will be open from 9:30am-3pm to children to play and let their imaginations run wild. Kid’s can take part in Halloween crafts before and during Downtown Ludington trick-or-treating.

10350538_10153225753854918_2910463310768582449_n9. Pumpkin Destruction @ Lewis Farm Market

When the Halloween fun is over, bring your pumpkins to Lewis Farm Market on November 1 from 10am-5pm for the ultimate pumpkin destruction! Watch as your pumpkins are dropped from a crane and crushed underneath the tires of monster trucks!

We wish you luck making it out of Pure Ludington alive this haunted weekend! Don’t forget to share your haunted fun with us on Instagram using the hashtag #pureludington or post them to our Facebook page