Capacity for fun, help, hope thrives all over Muskegon

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By Cynthia Price

Muskegon is just large enough that it has a lot to offer and just small enough that the word can spread about it.

Most of the time, downtown Muskegon is relatively empty; people walk their dogs and social-distance. But citizens will never allow dear Charles Hackley to be neglected, sitting on his bench across from Hackley Park. He gets winter caps and scarves, Santa hats, and plenty of patriotic gear. Now he has a face mask so he too can avoid the COVID-19 virus.

Businesses are still doing their best to serve Muskegonites. Meijer is still open, as are other grocery stores. But Boomtown Market downtown is putting a distinctly personal touch on it, and in particular is offering  free delivery on orders over $20, or no-touch pick-up. The delivery area is a three-mile radius, and folks can order at the website https://boomtownmarket.com, by phone (231-740-2651, and even through the market’s Facebook page.

Owner Dana Precious, Manager Bretten  and the crew are making their own hand sanitizer, will be dividing up a large bag of white flour into individual bags for purchase, and still have toilet paper according to their website – a while back they got a large order and individually tissue-wrapped a number of large rolls. Downtown’s Drip Drop Coffee has also created the BoomTown Blend.

But “man liveth not by bread, personal hygiene products, and caffeine alone,” so museums, teachers, artists and others are offering up Internet-based experiences.

The Lakeshore Museum Center has a new resource page https://lakeshoremuseum.org/museum-at-home/ which offers science experiments, other activity ideas such as keeping a social diary, activity videos, and kids’ crafts, and is updated frequently.

At the website of the Muskegon Museum of Art, there is a nifty coloring book PDF to print off of Museum-held masterpieces; and a video tour “20 for 20 Celebrating Michigan Illustrators.” There are some nice art videos on the Muskegon Museum of Art Facebook page as well.

Speaking of Facebook, there are a number of groups that offer the opportunity to showcase your own art in a variety of media, including video and written word. Some of them – COVID19 Art Challenge for one – offer daily topic prompts; the results are often astounding.

Meijer Gardens has simple daily videos of their butterfly exhibit, as well as a story read by museum staff against the lush background. Sign up on Facebook.
Both the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov) and its new children’s learning center (https://devoslearningcenter.org/virtual-experience/) have online offerings.

And the Showcase Literary contestants are now up on the site mentioned in the 3/20 issue: www.westmishowcase.org/

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