Generally, one would expect a town named Elk Rapids to have an elk as its mascot. Elk Rapids High School does. But when the town’s chamber of commerce decided to design a float to carry the 1966 Miss Elk Rapids in the National Cherry Festival and Harbor Days parades, a swan was chosen instead.
A few years later, the swan, since named Talula, was placed next to the Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Center overlooking Elk Lake on the east side U.S. 31. Talula has been greeting visitors, travelers, and newcomers alike, to this charming town situated part way between Traverse City and Charlevoix ever since. Talula the swan stands approximately 15 feet tall and is cared for and maintained by the Elk Rapids High School shop class. In 2014, her beak was repainted from orange to black to represent a friendlier species of swan.
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