Talula the Elk Rapids Swan – Elk Rapids, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

Talula the Elk Rapids Swan

Elk Rapids, Michigan

Talula the swan has been welcoming visitors to Elk Rapids, Michigan, for more than four decades. 

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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. 

Know Before You Go

The swan is very easy to access and visible from U.S. 31.

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