Going downtown

HOUGHTON – Michigan Technological University first-year students will be introduced to the area Saturday during Afternoon on the Town. During the event students will walk down College Avenue through downtown Houghton, where local businesses and organizations will set up tables.

“We want students to get a good idea of what downtown has to offer,” said Jessie Stapleton, coordinator of student activities at Michigan Tech. “For businesses that are not right downtown we offer table spaces lining College Ave.”

Currently about 60 businesses have registered to participate in the event according to Stapleton. Afternoon on the Town combines two events previously offered during orientation – Taste of Downtown Houghton and Community Expo. With the hybrid Afternoon on the Town, students are exposed to many different types of businesses Houghton has to offer. “We have everything from bookstores to clothing stores and lots of food venues signed up,” said Stapleton.

It is up to each business what they will do with their space, Stapleton said. Some businesses give out free samples, raffle off prizes or hand out coupons to encourage students to come back. Businesses that are not located downtown will also be able to participate by setting up tables en route to downtown Houghton along College Avenue. Although the event is meant for students, Stapleton said anyone is welcome to come walk around and see what Houghton has to offer.

“The event focuses on helping new students get to know Houghton but obviously anybody can walk through,” she said. “If a community member wants to go out there and check it out there is definitely a lot going on, but there will also be lots of students out downtown during the event.”

An Afternoon on the Town will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Orientation leaders will bring their groups through at staggered times to try to spread out the activity and avoid congestion downtown. For more information visit