Photo: Farmer's Market vendor Phil Throop of Wildflower Eco Farm
This weekend there is truly an embarrassment of riches for East Lansing residents. No matter what you’re into, you’re sure to find at least one way to jump into the life of the community, and if you’re like me, you’ll be making a list to make sure you don’t miss anything.
My weather app says we are looking at a high of 81 degrees on Friday, which happens to be the day the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center at 6400 Abbot Road opens for the 2016 season. ELFAC is an interactive outdoor water facility that features a 190-foot tube water slide, 140-foot body water slide, Splash Park, drop slide, diving board, youth frog slide and a number of interactive water-play structures as well as a wet/dry sand play area, large sunbathing deck, zero-depth pool entry, and concessions. In other words, everything you could ask for after a long, hot week of school and work.
After you towel off on Friday night, consider taking part in East Lansing’s first ever Arts Night. From 5-8 p.m., you can explore local artist exhibits and events at downtown East Lansing businesses. At 6 p.m. the City will dedicate the community-created mosaic in the pedestrian alley adjacent to 549 E. Grand River Avenue (The Greater Lansing Visitor Center) and at 6:30 p.m. there will be a dedication ceremony for local artist Julian Van Dyke's mural located in the Grove Street alley adjacent to Ann Street Plaza. The event concludes at 7 p.m. with live jazz by Solace in Ann Street Plaza.
Saturday you can start the day by being virtuous (and getting some clutter out of your life) at Recycle! East Lansing. The event, which gives EL residents an opportunity to dispose of items that can’t traditionally be recycled, will take place from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Abbott Center, located at 1400-1500 Abbot Road, rain-or-shine.
Later in the day, check out the live music, children’s activities, and more at the seventh annual Pumpstock Festival in the heart of the Bailey Neighborhood. The event takes place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Bailey Park, and features music from both local and nationally-recognized artists, as well as face painting, an adjacent playground, pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream. Admission is free, but a suggested donation for adults is $10 (all of which goes to the performers).
Sunday morning marks the opening of the East Lansing Farmer’s Market in Valley Court Park. The Market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and promises fresh vegetables, grass-fed beef, artisan bread, cheese, all-natural chicken, organic produce and much more. Vendors include Spoonful of Granola, Owosso Organics, Droscha Sugarbush, Titus Farms, Spartan Country Meats, Wildflower Eco Farm, Jenny’s Sweets & Treats, and Wooden Shoe Herb Farm. The first 150 customers to visit the market on Sunday will receive a free, reusable ELFM shopping bag, and there will be a special ringing of the "market bell" to celebrate the start of the 2016 market season at 10 a.m. with East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows.
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Note: This article was amended to correct the address of the Aquatic Center.