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Posted on: February 19, 2021

Downtown Weekend Warrior Program Brings Outdoor Heated Dining to Downtown East Lansing

Pedestrian Alley Outdoor Seating

EAST LANSING, Mich. — As a part of the “Daytime. Nighttime. Anytime. Place Project,” the East Lansing Rotary Club will be partnering with the City of East Lansing to launch the Downtown Weekend Warrior Program this Saturday, Feb. 20.

Members of the Rotary Club will be volunteering their time to help activate several public spaces in downtown East Lansing every Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. over the next six weekends. They will be overseeing the community’s use of heaters at outdoor dining spaces in the downtown and will also be distributing masks, hand warmers and hand sanitizer to downtown patrons.

“The call was put out to East Lansing Rotarians and they are eager to volunteer their time to support the City of East Lansing and downtown businesses,” said Chris Nugent, President of Horizon Bank (Greater Lansing Market) and President-Elect of the East Lansing Rotary Club.

Community members can grab takeout from downtown East Lansing businesses and dine outdoors during the Downtown Weekend Warrior activations this winter and early spring. Dates, times and locations are provided below:

  • Saturday, Feb. 20 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; the pedestrian alley in the 500 Block of Grand River Avenue (adjacent to Campbell’s Market Basket)

  • Saturday, Feb. 27 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.;  the pedestrian alley in the 500 Block of Grand River Avenue (adjacent to Campbell’s Market Basket)

  • Saturday, March 6 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Newman Lofts pedestrian link (adjacent to Barrio Tacos) 
  • Saturday March 13 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; location TBD

  • Saturday, March 20 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; location TBD

  • Saturday, March 27 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; location TBD


“East Lansing Rotary members are pleased to partner with the City of East Lansing as we navigate through these challenging times,” said Peter Dewan, East Lansing Rotary Foundation Board. “We continue to seek out opportunities to fulfill our motto ‘Service above Self’ and believe the Place Project is an excellent way to support our community.”

In addition to supporting the Place Project through the Downtown Weekend Warrior Program, the East Lansing Rotary Club generously contributed $5,000 towards the project’s crowdfunding campaign goal.

“We appreciate the East Lansing Rotary Club’s support of this exciting project for downtown, both by way of volunteer service and funding support,” said East Lansing Community & Economic Development Administrator Adam Cummins. “We hope to see community members mask up and come on out for some heated, outdoor dining this winter and early spring at the various public spaces we plan to activate.”

While masks are required both inside businesses and in outdoor public spaces in downtown East Lansing, masks can be removed when eating and drinking while seated at food service establishments or in the City’s outdoor dining spaces. In addition to mask requirements, community members should practice safe physical distancing from those that are not a part of their household and adhere to all other public health orders currently in place. Open alcohol will not be permitted in the City’s outdoor dining spaces at this time.

Outdoor heated dining will also be available at the Division Street Garage location or the plaza on the Marriott’s east side during the upcoming East Lansing Downtown Underground Market days, which will take place every other Sunday on the lowest level of the M.A.C. Avenue Garage through early May.

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