The City of Howell, as we know it now, was platted in 1835 by a group of settlers from Detroit and established as a village by an act of Legislature on March 14, 1863, consisting of sections 35 and 36, and the south half of sections 25 and 26 of Howell Township. As the County Seat, the City of Howell is centrally located within Livingston County. The City was first known as Livingston Center.
Howell is home to many festivals celebrated through the year. Most notably, the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest occurs every year in late June. Activities normally include balloon launches, fireworks, crafts and a mini carnival. Also notable is the “Legend of Sleepy Howell”, a night to celebrate the Halloween spirit usually the weekend before Halloween and “Fantasy of Lights” parade that is in late November.
The city is also the site of the Howell Melon Festival, an annual celebration of the Howell melon, a juicy hybrid cantaloupe known to grow only in the surrounding area. The three-day festival, held in mid-August, draws approximately 50,000 visitors each year. A newer tradition, Howell hosts the annual Pink Party, a day to recognize breast cancer survivors and raise money for donations. In 2016, Howell’s downtown area was nominated in USA Today‘s 10 Best contest for “Best Main Street” and placed second.
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