Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for Feb. 19

1. It's Presidents' Day, and in observance of the federal holiday, all Grand Rapids City offices will be closed today.

The day is set aside to honor all of the past United States presidents who have served our country. Two of the country's most prominent presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, come to mind as people celebrate this day because their birth dates fall close to this same time.

Presidents Day is celebrated with public ceremonies in Washington, D.C. and throughout the United States.

 

2.  The 73rd Grand Rapids Boat Show is in the books. The event took over DeVos Place last week and came to a close on Sunday.

Vendors showed off the latest and greatest in boating, and gave people the chance to get on board the boats that were on display.

Organizers say 2018 was another successful year for the show. They're already looking forward to next year, saying they expect it to be another phenomenal show.

 

3. Folks interested in African American history and culture stopped by the Grand Rapids Public Library for a special event to celebrate Black History month.

The event was called Taste of Soul Sunday, and it was actually one of several events the library is hosting to celebrate the month.

Local restaurants provided free food samples, plus there was live music, a poetry workshop, and professors, authors and scholars who were on-hand for lectures to share African American history.

For more information about other events they're hosting this month, go to their Facebook page.

 

4. Historic changes are coming to the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk; it's taking a U-Turn.

This year's walk will start in both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City,  with walkers turning around half way and walking back to where they started.

People can still walk the entire length of the bridge if they start the walk early enough and provide their own transportation. The bridge authority will not provide any busing this year. They're hoping these changes will allow more people to participate while cutting the rising cost of busing people back and forth.

Last year, the bridge was closed to vehicles, and many people were turned away because they weren't there in time.

 

5. It's all about celebrating sweet treats on National Chocolate Mint Day!

Here's a bit of history behind the treat: Europeans didn't really like dark, bitter cocoa bean, and used it mostly for medical purposes, in the form of a hot drink. They mixed mint, cinnamon, and other spices to make it easier to drink.

Eventually, they started adding sugar, and the combination of chocolate and mint became popular, and remains that way for many of us. In fact, the International Dairy Foods Association says mint chocolate chip is the 10th most popular flavor of ice cream.

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