You’re Invited: Pure Michigan Chat with Bronner’s

On Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET, please join for a live Web chat with Wayne Bronner, the president and CEO of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, the world’s largest Christmas store. Wayne’s father, Wally Bronner, was the recipient of the first Pure Michigan Outstanding Achievement in Tourism Award.  The chat is open to everybody and you can submit your questions in the chat box below which we’ll open up a few minutes before 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

For more on Bronner’s, check out this guest post on our blog from last week. We hope you can join us!

A Christmas Carol Moment in Pure Michigan

Photo courtesy of Felicia Fairchild

Jeanne Van Wieren shares her “Pure Michigan Moment,” a surprising encounter during the holidays in Saugatuck.

Everyone knows Saugatuck is an enchanting summertime destination, but it is also charming during the holidays. My husband, Don, and I go Christmas shopping there because we can find great gifts in a gorgeous setting. One year, we went on the same weekend that actors were putting on a production of A Christmas Carol in the historic Women’s Club building.

The winter setting was perfect: Snow fell in big flakes, and visitors enjoyed a ride in a lovely white carriage pulled by a horse clip-clopping down the street. Don and I were enjoying dinner at Wally’s, a wonderfully eccentric establishment favored by locals, when the door opened and, much to our surprise, in strode Bob Cratchit! I’m pretty sure it was actually a thespian in costume, but you never know in Saugatuck. He sat at the bar, and took off his top hat. “What’ll you have?” asked the bartender. Nobody, nobody batted an eye except Don and me. “Give me a Bud Light,” said Bob as he watched the NCAA basketball game on the TV.

A few moments later, we were laughing about it when—hand to God—Mrs. Cratchit and Tiny Tim walked in to see when Bob was coming home. “I’ll be there in a while,” Bob said. Off they went. Again, no one noticed.

Don and I share this story often because it reminds of us of one of our favorite places—pure Saugatuck. The striking town is home to galleries, great art and fun. It is also a place that knows life is full of surprises, so never take yourself too seriously. God bless us, every one!

Jeanne Van Wieren, who lives in Williamston, wrote about her “Pure Michigan Moment” for Michigan Travel Ideas.

 

Pure Michigan Holiday Light Events

The holidays are a busy time of year. There are parties, shopping and preparations to be made for family visits. That’s why it’s nice to sometimes just take in the scenery of the season. There are some great events coming up this month with some amazing light and holiday displays to enjoy at your leisure. For a full list of events check out michigan.org.

Holly Dickens Festival
December 9 – 11, 2011, Holly
See the characters from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” come to life on the streets of Historic Downtown Holly during the annual Holly Dickens Festival. Make special memories with your family while enjoying carriage rides, caroling choirs, hot roasted chestnuts and much, much more amidst unique shops and the Victorian atmosphere of the holidays. Head to the Holly Dickens Festival site for full event details and schedule.

Candle Light Christmas Walk
December 9 – 11, 2011, Marshall
The Marshall Historical Society’s Christmas Candlelight Tour is a highly personalized walking tour of five private homes decorated for the holidays. This is a walking tour of approximately 1.5 miles at a slow pace. Ticks are $20 sold in advance and only 600 tickets are sold. For more information, call (269) 781-5163.

The Big, Bright Light Show
Now-January 1, 2012, Rochester
You are invited to brighten your holidays in downtown Rochester with The Big, Bright Light Show! All the buildings on Main Street from the south bridge to Romeo Rd. will be covered in over a million points of light, along with East and West Fourth Street. Also, there will be large, lighted displays on Walnut from Third to University, The Dazzling Tree of Lights at the Depot Plaza (E. University & Water), and The Snowflake Spectacular on the Western Knitting Mill on Water Street. For more information on this event, visit their website or call (248) 656-0060.

Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic
Now – December 30, 2011, Flint
This holiday fantasyland features thousands of sparkling lights and Michigan’s most spectacular moving light display, the Huckleberry Railroad. The entire village is aglow with colored lights and more lights decorate the railroad’s locomotive, coaches and trackside displays. For information and reservations call (800).648-PARK or visit the Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic site.

Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village
December 9 – 10, 16 – 23, 26 – 27, 2011, Dearborn
Marvel at the splendor of a turn-of-the-century old-fashioned holiday experience complete with carolers and live reindeer along candlelit paths at this historic location.  For more information visit the Holiday Nights site. You can also call (800) 835-5237 or (313) 982-6001.