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Posted on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

Decorated sandhill cranes featured throughout Chelsea

By Lisa Allmendinger

You’re probably seen sandhill cranes flying overhead, but they’ve landed for the first time in Chelsea.

The life-size recycled sandhill cranes were designed by Chelsea’s Bumbles' Dry Goods store and citywide, nearly 40 store owners have gussied them up for visitors to see during the first organized Sandhill Cranes Gather and Fall Colors Tour that began in October.


One of the about 40 dressed up cranes in Chelsea.

Lisa Allmendinger |

The grounded cranes are decorated, painted, dressed up and bedazzled, and a full map to track all of the cranes can be found inside participating businesses.

Meanwhile, the migrating ones are expected to be in the Chelsea area until mid-November. According to information about the tour, thousands of sandhill cranes migrate through the 21,000 acre Waterloo State Recreation Area, which is located west of Chelsea.

People have been gathering at Thompson’s Pizza and The Wolverine Restaurant near the corner of Old US 12 and M-52 on Saturdays and Sundays since October at 2 p.m. for a self-guided tour through Waterloo and Eddy Discovery Center for the fall color tour, and this weekend marks the end of the gatherings.

At the Phyllis Haehlne Sanctuary in Jackson County, an Audubon Society member will give a talk about migrating cranes from 4 p.m. until dusk.

The event ends on Nov. 12 with the Wine, Women and Shopping event in downtown Chelsea from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Visitors can get a last look at the cranes and search for red and white balloons that signify the about 30 participating stores in the shopping event, which includes free giveaways as well as wine tastings.

Wine will be served at Seitz’s Tavern, New Chelsea Market, Jet’s Pizza and Thompson’s Pizzeria for $3 for three glasses. Thompson’s Pizzeria is serving Michigan wines and a special Michigan Cherry salad.

For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.



Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 12:56 p.m.

Who was contracted to make the cranes? All I can find out is a "local company", but nobody will say who it actually was.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 11:06 a.m.

What a clever idea that will hopefully draw more people to the fabulous Chelsea. My husband and I drove to Northville to see the skeletons the downtown area had decorated for Halloween. We made an afternoon of it with lunch and then walking around discovering each one and how cleverly they had been posed and decorated. Hopefully the cranes in Chelsea are more creatively dressed than the one in the picture. One would think the paper would chose the BEST decorated one for the article......perhaps the angle of the photo didn't represent it in the best way.