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Town of Plattsburgh officials celebrate the Michigan – a version of a hot dog, not the state

Almost every region has its own epicurean specialty. In the South sweet tea and pecan pie are on the menu. Stop for a maple creemee in Vermont or enjoy some chowder in Boston. Heading north? Before indulging in poutine in Quebec, stop in Plattsburgh for a Michigan. The Town of Plattsburgh has declared July “Michigan Month” and there are some special enticements to get folks to eat one.

The Michigan hot dog or red hot is unique to the Plattsburgh area. Town of Plattsburgh planner Jessica Kogut is originally from Vermont and says once you try one, you’re hooked.

“We moved here in 2015 and I saw all the different restaurants: Clare and Carl’s, Gus’, Ronnie’s, McSweeney’s. And I was like what are all these red hot Michigan Texas so many named things? And people were like oh it’s Michigans, what do you mean? And I’m like well I’m not from here. I don’t know what a Michigan is. And so I finally went to a restaurant and tried one out and I was like Oh I get it now! Like it’s totally different. It’s not a chili dog. There’s no beans. But every sauce is totally different. It’s meaty. It’s saucy. It’s steamy. It’s very indulgent. But it’s also something you’ve never had before. It’s nothing like you’ve ever had before. It’s got just something super different about it.”

Standing across the street from Clare and Carl’s, one of the iconic Michigan stands in the area, Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman read a declaration from the Town Board declaring July the town’s second annual Michigan Month. To promote all of the different Michigan stands the town will distribute a “passport.”

“They’re going to have to purchase a Michigan at the respective stands. The passports will be stamped by the particular stands. The first 25 people to complete their passport will be eligible for a t-shirt. We have 75 shirts left that will be open for purchase as well. In addition to this this year if you fill out your passport completely we’re going to do a raffle from all people and there will be four winners, not for t-shirts but a little bit of a Michigan surprise. In addition to that this year we will also be having a Michigan mile fun run and 5K.”

Ronnie’s Michigan’s Manager Monique Worley is looking forward to Michigan Month because it helped increase their business last year.

“A lot of people that had never even had a Ronnie’s Michigan had stopped by to try us which was wonderful. We were really appreciative of that and to the Town of Plattsburgh for providing it for us.”

The Michigan hot dog is known to have been in the area since at least 1927 but its origin is unclear. Supervisor Cashman invited 17-year-old Chloe Moulton from Elizabethtown, who won this year’s Michigan Month T-Shirt design, to help unveil a William C. Pomeroy Foundation Hungry for History historic marker.

“This program is designed to commemorate significant food dishes created prior to 1970 and the role that they have played in defining American culture and forging community identity. Hungry for History is intended to help communities nationwide put the spotlight on their renowned local and regional creative food dishes with historical roadside markers.”

The Town of Plattsburgh hopes to hold a Michigan Festival by the summer of 2024.