If you’re vacationing around the Mitten State this summer, you might notice that a lot of Michigan towns have nicknames.
Maybe your family will dine on the famous chicken in Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Little Bavaria. Perhaps you’ll stop for breakfast in Glenn, also known as The Pancake Town. Keep driving north and you’ll hit Traverse City, Cherry Capital of the World.
Some of nicknames are iconic. Detroit is the Motor City. Motown. Paris of the Midwest.
Some tell you something about their people: Ann Arbor is known as A2 or A-squared – showing off its nerdy college-town side.
Many celebrate industry. Negaunee, Irontown USA, must be filled with barrel-chested strongmen.
Other towns ought to schedule an arm-wrestling match for their nickname. Mesick and Utica both claim to be Mushroom Capital of the World.
Some monikers make you feel sorry for the people who gathered around boardroom table when the marketing committee had its session on nicknames. Not looking at you Northville (Switzerland of Wayne County) or Vicksburg (The Village With a Vision).
Others, like Romulus (Gateway to the World) remind you that explorers made good use of inaptronyms when discovering places like Greenland or the Cape of Good Hope.
Some are great. Some make you cringe.
But these towns have nicknames.
So this summer, we’re asking Salinians to brainstorm a nickname for their town. Once we have a nice selection of nicknames, will put it to a poll. (Sorry south siders. We sympathize with your plight, but “Smelline” will not make the final cut. We want this to be fun while being an exercise in civic pride.)
When we have a winning nickname, we’ll talk to Mayor Marl about a proclamation and the folks at the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce about cutting a ribbon and Saline Main Street about throwing a party.
If they’re not super pumped about it, hey, at least we had fun.
Either way, whoever comes up with the winning answer will get a t-shirt. That we know!