Enjoy trains, trolleys, bikes and boats during Melon Festival

In addition to all the fun in downtown Howell during Melon Festival weekend, August 20-22, guests to the event can travel by train, trolley, bikes and boats, all major attractions for the 50th celebration of Melon Festival.

Trolley tours depart from the Historic Howell Depot at 128 Westmore St., starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The 45-minute tour, in partnership with the Howell Area Historical Society, offers the experience and thrill of historic downtown Howell and surrounding neighborhoods from the open-air vantage point of a vintage rolling trolley. Cost is $10 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under, and free for children four and under sitting on an adult’s lap.

All aboard the rails for an old-fashioned train ride to historic Byron Station in a vintage passenger car pulled by a classic diesel locomotive. The hour-long journey through the scenic Michigan countryside operates over the tracks of the Great Lakes Central Railway. Round trip tickets for Saturday and Sunday depart from the depot several times during the day. Cost is $17.50 for adults and $13 for children three to 12 years of age.  Children two and under are free when carried by an adult.  The adult price has been discounted to $17.50 in recognition of the city’s 175th anniversary.

Tickets can be ordered at www.howellmelonfestival.com.

Ready for a melon cruise? The Michigan Princess docks on Thompson Lake beginning Wednesday, August 18 for lunch, dinner and party cruises. The cruises benefit the Howell Melon Festival, downtown Howell, and the Livingston County Humane Society. Dinner cruises are $35 for adults and $17.50 for children four to 12; lunch cruises are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children four to 12; and moonlight cruises for adults only are $10 per person. For updates on cruising times, visit www.melonfestival.com.

Finally, like to bike? Register your two-wheelers for Doc May’s Commemorative Melon Ride on Saturday at 9 a.m. The 15-mile tour begins and ends at the historic Livingston County Courthouse and travels through Howell neighborhoods, the City Park and Lakeview Cemetery. T-shirts, melons and melon ice cream are all part of the ride. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 the day of the ride. Register at www. howellrecreation.org.

Other attractions planned for the Melon Festival include a Melon Ball, anniversary alley, Michigan Made Arts & Crafts Show and bed races followed by a nighttime PJ party to watch the movie “Bedtime Stories.” Traditional favorites including Howell melons, melon ice cream and the Melon Run are once again part of the family fun.

The City of Howell and the Howell Downtown Development Authority are partnering with civic groups and community leaders to present the Howell Melon Festival. For more information, visit www.howellmelonfestival.com.

Courtney Lawless

Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.

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