Detroiters celebrate city's 317th birthday with ice cream

Nolan Ryan
The Detroit News
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Despite some rain, Detroiters celebrated their city's 317th birthday Tuesday with ice cream and music in Cadillac Square.

To mark the occasion, Hudsonville Ice Cream threw a party, complete with free ice cream, a photo booth and music from Grand Rapids-based DJ Adrian Butler. Employees from Hudsonville, as well as music artists from iHeart Radio, scooped ice cream for any guests who stopped by.

Festively-dressed cyclist Pam Harris wears a birthday party hat over her bicycle helmet while waiting in line for a dish of free ice cream during Hudsonville Ice Cream's free ice cream party in Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit to celebrate the city's 317th birthday on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

"What better way to celebrate Detroit's birthday than with ice cream?" said Rachel Hamden, Hudsonville marketing manager. 

Explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac arrived at the site of modern-day Detroit on July 24, 1701, with a party of soldiers and workers who began clearing land to build a French military fort. The city eventually became a commercial and industrial capital in the 19th century.

Jeanette Jones, 48, brought her granddaughter, Cadence Jones, 9, to enjoy the festivities.

"I want her to see how Detroit celebrates, to be proud of where she’s from," Jones said. "I like to see when the city comes together to celebrate."

Hudsonville employee Caleb Hoover of East Lansing scoops free ice cream into a cup during Hudsonville Ice Cream's free ice cream party in Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit to celebrate the city's 317th birthday on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

Alexis Brooks of Detroit and her kids stopped downtown for the event. Her son Kenneth, 9, tried Hudsonville's new Bowerman Blueberry Donut ice cream and said he liked it.

"I found out about this on Facebook, and we came downtown just to celebrate Detroit's birthday," Brooks said.

As for the rain, it didn't prevent a large crowd from coming to celebrate the city's birthday.

"It didn’t seem to deter people," Hamden said. "Half of the people didn’t have umbrellas. People love ice cream, no matter the weather."

Alaura Brooks, 8, of Detroit leans out to see how long the ice cream line is, while waiting on free Hudsonville ice cream with her mother Alexis Brooks and a host of other people waiting on a scoop during Hudsonville's free ice cream party in Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit to celebrate the city's 317th birthday on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

nryan@detroitnews.com

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