Pure Michigan Instagram Challenge kicks off to promote states beaches

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The inland beach at Tecumseh Park (The Pit) is one of many in Michigan that may soon be featured on Instagram.

Social media will be helping promote the best beaches throughout the state of Michigan as Pure Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are asking the general public to share their favorite beach photographs on Instagram.

The Pure Michigan Instagram Challenge kicked off Friday, June 20 and lasts for 10 days. The promotion event is to showcase the wide variety of beaches in Michigan, as well as the types of activities that travelers and residents can enjoy during a day on the sand.

“From sparkling blue waters to the chance to reconnect with friends and family, Michigan’s beach experience is as diverse as it is beautiful,” said Leslie Hornung, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “This challenge is the perfect opportunity to engage with our fans and spread the word about the vast beach offerings found in Pure Michigan.”

Each day of the contest features a specific challenge or type of beach activity. Fans will be asked to share photos that represent that day’s challenge tagging @PureMichigan and using the hashtags #PureMichigan and #BeachChallenge.

Support staff at the Pure Michigan campaign headquarters said that any and all beaches, including inland waters, are included in the Michigan promotion, which makes Tecumseh Park, also known locally as The Pit, one of the beach locations that may be featured through photography posted to Instagram.

Shelley Lim, Tecumseh’s Director of Cultural and Leisure Services, said that The Pit is a unique location for families to spend quality time together.

“It’s a great place to spend some time with the family,” she said. “Because there are so many amenities in the park, one of which is an inland beach, which is pretty unusual for a town the size of Tecumseh.”

The Pit is a natural spring fed body of water.

“The water is really crystal clear and it’s a perfect sized beach to bring little ones to play,” Lim said.

Over the last few seasons, the beach at The Pit has been extended both on land and in the water. The sandy beach has been widened and extended 10 to 15 feet into the water, which limits the amount of weeds that swimmers have to cope with to make it more family-friendly swimming area.

The first three photo challenge days have already taken place. The first, titled Favorite Beach to Catch a Sunrise or Sunset, was on was June 20 and Favorite Dog-Friendly Beach was on June 21. On June 22, photos posted to Instagram were to depict a Favorite State Park Beach.

The remaining challenges are Favorite Beach to Fly a Kite (June 23), Favorite Beach for Watersports (June 24), Favorite Beach for Fishing from the Shore or Dock (June 25), Favorite Beach to Experience Clear Waters (June 26), Favorite Beach to Take a Long Walk (June 27), Favorite Beach to Hang Out with Family and Friends (June 28) and Favorite Beach to Watch Fireworks (June 29).

“Our beautiful beaches are just some of the world-class natural resources our state has to offer,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “Those beaches are the birthplace of many lifelong memories for Michigan citizens and visitors. We look forward to seeing those memories captured in pictures.”

All entries tagged with #PureMichigan and #BeachChallenge will be put into a gallery at michigan.org/beachchallenge, which went live on the day of the first challenge. One daily winner will be chosen for each challenge topic. At the end of the challenge a grand prize photograph will be selected from all entries received.

Winners will be featured daily on the Pure Michigan Instagram account and receive a Personal Sun Care Kit from the Pure Michigan Store. The grand prize winner will have there photo featured across Pure Michigan social channels and receive an “Ultimate Pure Michigan Beach Day” package that includes a beach towel, a fire pit, a tackle box, a cooler and a sun care kit among other prizes.

Pure Michigan has the number one state tourism Instagram account in the nation with 99,000 followers and is listed as one of the best among tourism boards and destination marketing organizations. The michigan.org website is the most visited state tourism website in the nation with more than nine million visits last year.

“Water defines Michigan,” DEQ Director Dan Wyant said. “It is the reason people come to live, work and play in our state. We all love the Great Lakes and inland waters, and this challenge is a great opportunity for Michiganders to show off their best beach memories.”




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