Every community has its own vocabulary -- the names and places that make it feel like home. Here's an insider's look at the history, culture, and special character of a place called West Michigan. By the time you're done reading, you should be able to find us on The Mitten, name some of our beautiful beaches and local celebrities, describe the function of the Fish Ladder, and identify why dentists have a special place in their hearts for Grand Rapids. For extra credit: what world-famous architect designed our downtown amphitheatre?
The Weather Ball is a 64-ton, 125' tall futuristic steel structure with a neon ball on top that forecasts local weather 24 hours a day. From 1967 to 1987, it sat on top of the former Michigan National Bank in downtown Grand Rapids. In 2003, the ball was rescued from its ignominious grave at a Kalamazoo scrap yard, rebuilt and relocated to the WZZM TV station on the north side of Grand Rapids. Most older Grand Rapids natives are familiar
with this catchy rhyme:
Weather ball red, warmer weather ahead.
Weather ball blue, colder weather in view.
Weather ball green, no change foreseen.
Colors blinking bright, rain or snow in sight.
Download a brochure of all 57 Reasons to Love West Michigan (pdf). This information has been provided by The Right Place.