Winning name for Sterling Heights' big gold ring: the Halo
The 35-foot circle in Sterling Heights that we have carefully avoided referring to as the Golden (Crude Word) of Macomb County now has an official name:
Residents, of course, may well continue to refer to it as something else that roughly sounds like "hut bowl." But with 26.1 percent of 3,620 votes cast in a competition put on by the city in hopes people will stop saying that, "the Halo" will now be the official moniker.
The first of many people to suggest it was Connie Truszkowski of Sterling Heights, who wins $650 worth of gift cards and an all-expense-paid night at the Comfort Inn in Utica.
In a near dead-heat, Standing "O" edged the Sun Gate for second place, 795-791 — or by percentage, 21.9 to 21.8. Nominators Melanie Herrick of Detroit and Shannon Geiger of Roseville also win gift cards in a contest in which all five finalists were put forth by women, suggesting that men were too busy making hut bowl jokes.
The Aurum and the Overture completed the top five at 18.9 percent and 10.1 percent.
Thirty-two voters took the time to visit the online balloting site but made no selection, leaving them just about the only people around to have no opinion on the 10-ton, steel-and-aluminum icon perched in the M-59/Hall Road median just east of Schoenherr.
Technically a sign or a monument, rather than a sculpture, the Halo was conceived as a symbolic portal to the so-called Golden Corridor, a busy commercial stretch spreading westward through multiple communities from Interstate 94 to Van Dyke.
It accounted for $180,000 of a $339,500 beautification project along Hall Road that also included two signs with smaller versions of the icon, perhaps now officially known as Haloettes.
After the sign's erection in January, Mayor Michael Taylor told The Detroit News it will demonstrate to more than 100,000 passing motorists each day that "we're not just another cookie-cutter Macomb County suburb with rows of houses and nothing interesting."
Onlookers are now encouraged to associate those positive thoughts with the new name, which the city says will "receive a page on the city website, mention in all of our promotional materials and so on."
Those who don't think the Halo has a ring to it, of course, are free to call it Halo-y McHaloface.