The Ann Arbor area’s rich history — from prehistoric periods to contemporary times — has come to life in 2017 in fresh and exciting ways. From new exhibits to first-time events, visitors can discover a little more about Ann Arbor’s past and fascinating influence on our area today.
Local Discovery: The Bristle Mammoth
One of the most fascinating developments in the past few years was the discovery of 15,000-year-old mammoth remains on a farm just west of Ann Arbor in Chelsea. Now known affectionally as the Bristle Mammoth (pronounced BRIS-lee), named for the family who found the remains and donated them to the university, the exhibit will be on display at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (UMMNH) until December 31, 2017.
A highlight of the exhibit is the ability for visitors to touch one of the Bristle Mammoth’s bones! The exhibit also includes evidence pointing to human activity (such as the removal of edible tissues from parts of the carcass) and information about how the Bristle Mammoth’s bones, teeth and tusks will help scientists understand how these animals lived and why they went extinct.
At the end of 2017, the Bristle Mammoth exhibit will be moved to the Museum’s new location which will open in 2019 in the U-M Biological Science Building. The Museum and all public mammoth-related events are free.
Start Your Engines — It’s the Great Race!
The Ypsilanti area has a vibrant and proud community dedicated to preserving and celebrating automotive heritage. It is because of this passion that The Great Race — one of the most renowned open-road car races in the country — choose Ypsilanti for an overnight stop during its 2017 adventure. The race is open to only pre-World War II vehicles, cars that aren’t exactly designed for interstate driving. As a result, the race navigates intricate routes, designed to suit antique cars and their capabilities, in terms of speed, and durability.
The 120 race vehicles will roar into Depot Town in Ypsilanti on Thursday, June 29 and be on display from 5-8 p.m. The Great Race will serve as a temporary substitute for the regularly scheduled Depot Town Cruise Night which occurs weekly on Thursday nights from June through August.
Forecast Calls for Thunder and Blue Skies
The Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy's Flight demonstration team, returns to Willow Run Airport just east of Ann Arbor for another jaw-dropping, toes-curling airshow during Thunder Over Michigan. Taking place during Labor Day Weekend, this history-in-action event will span three days for the first time — delivering more aviation history and family fun than ever before! Another star attraction is the historic flyable aircraft. Whether it's in the B-17 Yankee Lady, B-25 Yankee Warrior, C-47, or WACO Biplane — you can book a ride and experience what it was like to be a military pilot. Thunder Over Michigan tickets are on sale now with advanced discount pricing available for a limited time!
Be a Part of History
Keep your eyes open for more information about the effort by the Yankee Air Museum at the Historic Willow Run to reclaim the Rosie the Riveter Guinness World Record from Richmond, California who attempted the record last August. While we are still waiting for Guinness certification of the Richmond attempt, the friendly competition between the two historic WWII sites is sure to heat up in 2017!