The annual Love Ludington Weekend — a celebration of life on the lakeshore — is returning Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with events and activities scheduled each day to help get summer started.
The celebration is an important tradition for Ludington residents, and a fun and vibrant time for visitors as well, according to Brandy Miller, president and CEO of the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Love Ludington Weekend is a great way to encapsulate and celebrate so many great attributes of Ludington into one weekend, and really kick off summer in our community,” Miller said.
World record attempt
The main event of the weekend is the city’s fourth attempt to break a world record.
“Obviously the highlight (of Love Ludington Weekend) is a fourth attempt at a world record,” Miller said. “It is a fun opportunity for locals and visitors alike to come together and accomplish something great for Ludington.”
This year, the city will attempt to break the record for the largest dessert party. The attempt is being organized by Ludington’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA).
According to Jen Tooman, DDA marketing and communications director, the goal is to have about 3,000 people participate, which would shatter the current record.
“The record is 1,445 (people) and it was held by a bakery in India, and we’re hoping to double that,” Tooman said. “We have so many people RSVP that I’m confident that we’re going to hit that.”
Tooman said more than 3,000 participants have already submitted RSVPs at www.eventbrite.com, but she noted that the official registration is from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Ludington’s Rotary Park.
The world record attempt is a massive community undertaking, Tooman said, with businesses and sponsors chipping in to help Ludington meet its goal and have its name printed in the Guinness Book of Records.
“There are 24 Ludington businesses that are donating desserts — cookies, cake, brownies, rice crispy treats, caramel corn, gelato … a whole slew of desserts,” Tooman said. “There will be a Guinness judge on hand, so we will know on Saturday if we have broken the record or not.
Tooman noted that in order to have their desserts count, the plate has to be cleared entirely. If a child is participating and can’t finish their dessert, a supervising parent can finish it for them.
The event is free to attend, but participants can make a donation of a non-perishable food item that will be given to the Lakeshore Food Club.
“The food club is helping out with some of the volunteers and they’re doing a food drive at all of the businesses that are donating, so it’s great if people want to help the community by bringing a food item,” she said.
In addition to the world record attempt, there are activities and events scheduled throughout the weekend.
“There are some great events throughout the entire weekend for families,” Miller said. “Everything from the Lakestride Half Marathon, to a shoreline cruise aboard the SS Badger, the West Shore Pride Festival and home tours of the Ludington Bed & Breakfast — there’s something for everyone.”
West Shore Pride Fest
Local nonprofit organization West Shore Pride is hosting a number of events to celebrate and commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and some of them align with Love Ludington Weekend.
On Sunday, the third annual West Shore Pride Fest will be held from noon to 8 p.m. in Ludington’s Rotary Park.
The festival will feature speeches, comedy from Logan Monson and live performances from Bog Wizard, Stage Left Theater Company, Marsupial Mammals and Mary Miller & Family.
West Shore Pride board member and festival organizer Justin Bunting said the event is about forming connections with the communities in which the organization operates — namely Mason and Manistee counties.
“It’s trying to create a strong community within a community,” Bunting said. “It’s not just about acceptance and celebrating who we are, it’s also about building a relationship with Ludington and being there up front.”
West Shore Pride exists to increase visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, and Pride Fest furthers this goal, he added.
See The Scene in Thursday's Ludington Daily News print or e-Edition for the full story.