14 Festive Holiday Lights Displays in Pure Michigan

This week, we asked our Pure Michigan Facebook community to share photos of spectacular holiday lights and decorations in their area. With the many holiday lighting events recently celebrated across the state, Pure Michigan is twinkling with holiday spirit. Below is a roundup of some of our favorite fan photo submissions from this week. Wishing everyone a cheerful holiday season! 

For more fan photography, check out our Pure Michigan Flickr page.

Do you have a holiday lights photo to share? Be sure to post it on our Facebook page. 

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. 

How to Select the Perfect Pure Michigan Christmas Tree

The distinct fragrance of  fresh cut Christmas trees is part of what makes the holiday season so special and memorable. Today, Marsha Gray from the Michigan Christmas Tree Association gives us some insider tips on how to select the perfect Pure Michigan Christmas tree

Every year, Michigan families have a big choice to make…real or fake.  I don’t even have to tell you that I am talking about Christmas trees….you knew that was where this was headed! Although many consumers have gone the artificial route, there are millions of Michiganders who wouldn’t celebrate with anything less than the real thing.  Maybe because they love the tradition that is so deeply ingrained in our Michigan heritage or perhaps it’s that amazing fragrance that you just can’t get anywhere else.  No matter the reason or motivation, Michigan consumers will head out this season in search of the perfect tree.

Because Michigan is the third largest producer of Christmas trees in the US and because we grow more varieties than any other state, Michigan consumers have an abundance of choices when it comes to selecting a tree.  Will it be a Fraser fir, a spruce or maybe a traditional Michigan scotch pine?  The wide variety of choices insures that you will find just what you are looking for.  And, with so many knowledgeable growers here, they can guide you to a tree that meets your needs.

 At Michigan’s “Choose & Cut” farms, you can spend as much time as you like, walking among the trees; taking in the fresh air and evergreen fragrance.  Once your family finds the perfect tree, there is the perfect chance to get a great family photo with the tree. (And maybe a funny photo of the lucky one who gets to saw it down!)  After the work is done, many of the farms offer a warm up with hot chocolate by a wood burning stove or bon fire.  Wagon rides, farm animals and even visits from Santa are common at many of the farms.

 Whether you are cutting down your own tree or picking a beautiful Michigan-grown tree at a retail lot, consumers are urged to follow a few simple rules to keep their Christmas tree fresh and beautiful for the whole season:

  • Give your tree a fresh cut.  If you are cutting down your own tree, you are all set.  If you buy a pre-cut tree, the lot operator will typically give your tree a fresh cut.  This is the most critical step, as it opens up the base of the tree so that it can take up water.
  • Get your tree into water within a few hours.  If you are not displaying the tree immediately, place it in a bucket of water in the garage or another protected area.
  • Check the water level daily – twice each day on the first few days.  Never let the water level drop below the base of the tree trunk.  No additives needed – just plain water.
  • Decorate your tree with UL approved lights and display away from heat sources, fireplaces and warm, southern facing windows.

Enjoy your fresh, Michigan-grown tree and the wonderful holiday memories that you will make!

What kind of Michigan Christmas tree will you pick out this holiday season?