18 Things You Didn’t Know About Bronner’s – The World’s Largest Christmas Store

‘Tis the season all year long at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the World’s Largest Christmas Store® in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Open 361 days of the year, Bronner’s brings the warmth and wonder of the Christmas season to guests year round. Wayne Bronner, president and CEO of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland lists 18 things you may not have known about the World’s Largest Christmas Store. 

1. More than 350 decorated Christmas trees are beautifully displayed in Bronner’s salesroom.

2. Decorations and gifts from 70 nations can be found at Bronner’s.

3.  Bronner’s carries over 150 styles of nutcrackers.

4.  Bronner’s artists personalize over 100,000 ornaments annually. One of Bronner’s ornament artists has personally handpainted nearly ½-million ornaments during her 25 years at Bronner’s. Approximately 50% of the glass ornaments sold are Bronner’s own designs.

5. If all the light sets sold in one year at Bronner’s were stretched out in a continuous line, they would span approximately 530 miles.

6. Movie star John “the Duke” Wayne ordered a Santa suit from Bronner’s by telephone on December 15, 1976.

7. Sports figures who have visited Bronner’s include former University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, Detroit Tigers’ owner Tom Monaghan (who arrived at Bronner’s in his Domino’s Pizza helicopter!), former Tiger pitcher Milt Wilcox, former Tiger catcher Lance Parrish, former Tiger outfielder Willie Horton, race car driver Al Unser, Jr., “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe, and Detroit Redwing Sergei Fedorov.

8. Celebrities who have visited Bronner’s recently include former Michigan Governor John Engler and First Lady Michelle with triplet daughters; former Michigan Governor James Blanchard; Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill; vocalists Little Jimmie Dickins, Jim Nabors, Pat Boone, Marie Osmond, Anita Bryant, Andy Williams, the Lennon Sisters, the Lettermen, Ted Nugent, the Ink Spots, Faith Hill, Twila Paris and sister Starla, and Ana Cani; television’s Dave Coulier of “Full House“; First Lady Laura Bush; and actresses Polly Bergen and Cindy Williams.

9. Bronner’s was the first recipient of the worldwide Golden Santa Claus Award in February, 1986, at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in Germany. The annual award is presented for “creativity and new ideas in the Christmas business as well as for set-up and presentation of Christmas articles.”

10. Bronner’s electric bill averages $1,250.00 per day.

11. Beamer the Bronner Star was born in 1999, becoming Bronner’s mascot.

12. Bronner’s online store offers appoximately 3,000 items for purchase.

13. The overall size of Bronner’s building is 320,000 sq. ft. (approx. 7.35 acres or 5.5 football fields of space) with 96,000 sq. ft. (2.2 acres 1.7 football fields of space) devoted to the salesroom.

14. Approximately 100,000 outdoor Christmas lights illuminate Bronner’s grounds every evening throughout the year.

15. Christmas Lane, Bronner’s own thoroughfare, is 1/2-mile long.

16. Bronner’s giant outdoor Santa towers 17 feet and the giant snowman is 15 feet tall.

17. The weekend after Thanksgiving is Bronner’s busiest of the year with as many as 50,000 guests.

18. Over two million guests come to Bronner’s annually.

Have you visited Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth? Tell us about your experience! 

Read more Bronner’s fun facts here

Wayne Bronner is the president and CEO of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. He has overseen the day-to-day operations of the World’s Largest Christmas Store since 1998. Bronner’s is a multifaceted business that includes a brick-and-mortar business, online sales, commercial accounts, catalog sales, and resale and custom ornament accounts. 

Twelve Days of Michigan: An Infographic

The holidays are a time for celebration, food, festivities and traditions. Michigan has unique connections to many of these.

During the 12 Days of Michigan, we will celebrate all that our state has to offer with a Michigan holiday fact each day.

Day 1: Monday, December 2
Michigan grows more than 300 farm commodities including a holiday meal favorite – cranberries!  Our nearly 300 acres produce more than 3 million pounds of cranberries a year.

Day 2: Tuesday, December 3
Do you enjoy a Honeybaked Ham for holiday dinners? Did you know that the recipe, crunchy sweet glaze and unique machine that slices the ham were all invented in Michigan? In 1957, Harry J. Hoenselaar opened the first HoneyBaked Ham Company in Detroit and it has since grown to be more than 400 stores nationwide.

Day 3: Wednesday, December 4
December 4 marks the third annual Menorah In the D on the last night of Chanukah. The 24-foot menorah was designed and built by local artists and brothers Erik and Israel Nordin and stands proudly in Campus Martius/Cadillac Square.

Day 4: Thursday, December 5
Looking for a one-of-a-kind festive event? Experience scenes of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with Downtown Holly’s 40th Annual Dickens Festival, visit the largest Christmas store at Frankenmuth’s Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland  or view one of the 1.5 million twinkling lights at Rochester’s Big Bright Light Show. For more events, visit michigan.org/events.

 

Day 5: Friday, December 6
Picking out a fresh, fragrant Christmas tree is often a holiday tradition.  Michigan ranks third in the nation in the number of Christmas trees harvested and produces a wider variety of trees than almost any other state, supplying approximately three million fresh Christmas trees nationally each year.  The 2013 Michigan state Christmas tree is a 71-foot blue spruce that traveled 460 miles from Iron River and now stands in the Capitol.

Day 6: Monday, December 9
If every family in the U.S. shifted $10 a month to locally-owned, independent businesses instead of national chains, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to local economies.  With nearly 98% of all businesses in Michigan being small businesses, it’s important to support local retailers this holiday season including popular pop up shops that are making their way from downtown Detroit to Grand Rapids.

Day 7: Tuesday, December 10
Kwanzaa is celebrated each year between December 26 and January 1. In Detroit, many families gather to reflect and honor its founding principles. The Charles H. Wright Museum will pay tribute to this holiday’s rich cultural heritage with a candle lighting each night followed by evening festivities.

Day 8: Wednesday, December 11
Michigan winter recreation offers travelers a variety of things to do and brings in about $2.5 billion to the state’s economy. Why not take a holiday trip?  In Michigan, you are never more than two hours away from a ski area and with more than 6,500 miles of interconnected snowmobile trails in the state, dashing through the snow is a breeze.  Experience Mount Bohemia, which was one of four destinations competing for Powder Magazine’s 2014 Ski Town Throwdown or make a stop in Christmas, Michigan – a town in the Upper Peninsula that got its name from a roadside factory built there in 1938 to make holiday gifts and is now a popular destination for snowmobilers.

Day 9: Thursday, December 12
December 12 is National Poinsettia Day and many of the holiday plants are grown here in Michigan.  The state is seventh in the U.S. for poinsettia production and produced 2.3 million plants last holiday season.

Day 10: Friday, December 13
The Polar Express has been a holiday classic for more than 25 years, but did you know that author Chris Van Allsburg, a Grand Rapids native, used a Michigan train for inspiration?  When the movie was made in 2004, Michigan’s Pere Marquette 1225 locomotive was used for the prototype and technicians used sounds of the whistle and the clatter of the wheels for the animated film.

Day 11: Monday, December 16
Indeed, a northern Michigan company is supplying the wool that will be used to make sweaters for Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

Day 12: Tuesday, December 17
Chestnuts are famous for roasting on an open fire, but Michigan is known for growing the sweet, edible nut with the largest number of chestnut growers and the most acreage of any state.   Chestnuts can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from soups, stews and stuffing to fancy desserts.

 

Do you know any Michigan holiday fun facts? Use #12DaysofMichigan and be sure to follow us on Twitter. 

Pure Michigan 2013 Halloween Events Roundup

Halloween is fast approaching! Whether you’re dressed as a ghoul or a goblin, there is plenty of Halloween fun happening across the state. From haunted houses to family-friendly parades, below is your guide to celebrating Halloween in Pure Michigan. Visit michigan.org full a full listing of Halloween events happening around the state!

Amazing Acres Corn Maze
September 14 – October 31, 2013, Edwardsburg
If you’re looking for fun, family entertainment in Cass County, Michigan, make plans to visit the Amazing Acres Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch this Fall! The farm is over 90 acres and is packed with events for every member of the family, young or old. Explore the 14 acre corn maze with over 3.5 miles of paths. Keep a watchful eye for the 12 hidden check points. The Maze is available both day and night. In addition to the corn maze itself, there are many other fun activities for the entire family at Amazing Acres that includes hayrides with horse-drawn and tractor-pulled, pumpkin patch, child-sized haybale maze, thousands of pumpkins and holiday decorations, a goat walk and farms animals. Picnic area, snacks and refreshment stand, campfires available by reservation, face painting, hay jump, two straw mazes and two corn boxes. Located at 18430 US 12 East; Edwardsburg, MI 49112. Open Tuesday thru Friday 4pm to 9pm and Saturday & Sunday noon to 9pm. For more information, click the website link or call (574) 370-3403.

Niles Haunted House
September 13 – November 2, 2013, Niles
The Niles Haunted House Scream Park has 44 acres of multiple haunted attractions, hayrides, games and concessions. It’s guaranteed to scare the YELL out of you. Visit the web site for dates, times, coupon, and admission prices. Niles Haunted House Scream Park is located at 855 Mayflower Road; Niles, MI 49120. Phone for details at (269) 687-FEAR or visit the website. 

Corn Maze at BestMaze
September 13 – October 27, 2013, Williamston
The Corn Maze at BestMaze is great fun for the entire family on weekends from September 13th to October 27. Nineteen acre Corn Maze hours are Fri. 6-10pm; Saturdays 1-10pm, and Sundays 1-9pm. Tickets $8. The BestMaze Corn Maze is located at 3803 Noble Rd; Williamston, Michigan 48895.

Houpt’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch
September 21 – October 31, 2013, Dundee
We have a two acre corn maze, ten acres of U-Pick pumpkins, a Gourd Slinger, Craft Barn, and cider & donuts. We have hayrides on weekends, weather permitting. Offer field trips to groups. A huge favorite is our “Kid’s Weekend” held the third weekend of October every year. Both days of that weekend we have a clown for a couple of hours, a costume contest, and rides all day. We always have the following activities for free, Kid’s Haunted House, Petting Farm and Miniature Golf. Open daily, 10am to dusk. Located at Houpt’s Pumpkin Patch at 19929 Tecumseh Rd; Dundee, Michigan 48131. (Just five miles west of Dundee and Cabela’s on M-50.)

The Bone Yard Scream Park
September 21 – November 2, 2013, Stockbridge
Extreme haunted house, haunted woods, haunted corn maze, and haunted hayride. This attraction takes over an hour to enjoy and have the fear put into you. This is an indoor and outdoor event, please dress accordingly. Scream Park located at 5010 Green Road; Stockbridge, Michigan 49285, just west of Hell. Friday and Saturday, open at 8pm. For more information, visit the website.

Tee Lake Halloween
September 27 – November 2, 2013, Lewiston
Northern Michigan Haunted House & Halloween Attraction, Tee Lake Halloween, offers three unique treats for Halloween fans & families. First, the Drive-Thru Haunt is a FREE, family friendly, self-guided tour through haunted displays. Tune your car radio to our spooky station to hear creepy music. No monsters will jump out at you. Nightly September 27 – November 2, dusk – 10pm. Admission is free. Second, Terror at Tee Lake is a terrifying walk-through haunted house open October 19, 25, 26, and November 1 from 7-10pm, with an admission of $5. Third, stay over in a haunted cabin – The Witch’s Cottage or Igor’s Hideaway. For more information, visit the website.

Scream Machine
September 27 – November 2, 2013, Taylor
The Scream Machine is back with new special effects and scares for the 2013 season. Back by popular demand–the Hellevator. This portal to the unknown takes you to the depths of your worst fears where nightmares and reality collide. Open September 27-29, October 4-6, 11-13, 18-November 2. For hours and admission, click the website link or call (734) 309-0756. Coupon for $3 off found at website. Located at 21207 Eureka Rd; Taylor, Michigan (in the shopping plaza next to Gibralter Trade Center).

Shawhaven Haunted Farm
September 27 – November 2, 2013, Mason
Fear surrounds the Farm. All 140 acres have been lost onto a haze of despair, since the dark years when the crops and animals were lost to a devastating invasion of bugs. Fear had engulfed all the grounds. Local people have tried to face their fears on the Wagons of Fear. Some exit safely and unchanged only to be lost into the darkness of despair with time. Others try to make the trip through the Dead Maze to the next town only to join the Zombies that linger within the corn. Fee. We also offer an unhaunted corn maze. Open Fridays and Saturdays, September 27 to November 2. Open Thursday, October 31. Kids matinee tour Sunday, October 13. Shawhaven Haunted Farm located at 1826 Rolfe Road; Mason, Michigan 48854. For admission prices or more information, visit the website link or call (517) 676-1649.

Psycho Ward & Nightmares Haunted House
October 4 – October 31, 2013, Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo Speedway. Experience West Michigan’s most terrifying haunted attraction this October–if you dare! Many have experienced the terror of Floyd Cranston and his clan of twisted misfits. Their reign of terror has been inflicted on Psycho Ward visitors for more than a decade. Some have survived—but not without years of intensive therapy. What disturbing twist on Floyd’s unique form of horror does he have in store for you this year? There’s only one way to find out. Not recommended for children under 12 or the faint of heart. Open weekends in October: October 4, 5, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 , 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 (open 7:30pm each night). Admission fee.

Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village
October 11 – October 27, 2013, Dearborn
The Henry Ford. Step back in time to a turn-of-the-20th century Hallowe’en. Follow an endless path of hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns, and meet colorful characters along the way. Feel the whoosh as the Headless Horseman rides by, banter with a clever witch and make stops at several treat stations spread throughout Greenfield Village. It’s frightfully fun for the whole family! For information call (313) 982-6001.

Pumpkin, Cider & Donut Wagon Ride
October 12 – October 27, 2013, Ray
Take a wagon ride with a guide to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect Halloween pumpkin, then stop for a cup of cider and a donut. This year, take a walk from the pumpkin patch to the farm’s 5-acre corn maze. Then, get into the Halloween spirit by visiting the Boo Barn. Wagon rides 11am – 4pm (Oct. 12-13, 20, 26 & 27). Pumpkins are priced according to size. Fee for wagon ride. Additional activities on specific dates for additional fee. For information call (586) 752-5932.

Haunted Horrors
October 18 – October 27, 2013, Armada
Blakes Big Apple has four attractions for 2013—Nighttime Spooky Hayride, three story Haunted Barn, Spookyland, and Zombie Paintball Safari. Open every Fri, Sat & Sun nights in October. For rates, hours, or more information, click on the website link or call (586) 784-9710.

Haunted Hayrides
October 25 – October 26, 2013, Suttons Bay
Black Star Farms Tasting Room & Inn. Miles of wooded trails, old barns and a bonfire area make the farm in Suttons Bay a perfect venue for haunted hayrides. Participants board a wagon that takes them into the dark woods and old orchards on the farm. The trail rides are approximately 10-15 minutes long and are $10 per person. Due to the subject matter of the scenes and the surprises lurking in the woods the rides are recommended for those 12 years and older as well as individuals who appreciates a good scream. Rides begin (7pm) and end (9:30pm) at the Hearth & Vine Café where ghostly refreshments, warm cider and wine will be served.

Halloween Spooktacular
October 26, 2013, Gaylord
Treetops Resort. Join us as we celebrate Fall. Treetops will feature wagon rides followed by a chairlift ride. Activity and game stations with trick or treating for the kids. Minimal fee applicable for activities. Public welcome to enjoy our holiday celebration.

The Legend of Sleepy Howell
October 26, 2013, Howell
Come to downtown Howell and experience the 11th annual Legend of Sleepy Howell from 5pm – 9pm. Activities include trick or treating at candy stations, business booths offering giveaways, games and prizes, costume contests, live music, hay rides, creepy campfires, a hay maze, food vendors and the 5k/10k Headless Horseman Run. Don’t miss the scary fun in downtown Howell – this event happens despite the fall weather.

For more Halloween-related events happening in your neighborhood, visit michigan.org. How will you be showing your Halloween spirit this year? Share with us below!