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.

 

A Pure Michigan Christmas All Year Long at Bronner’s

On today’s blog, Lori Libka from Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland gives an overview of the World’s Largest Christmas Store.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” 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 all year long.

Bronner’s late originator, Wally Bronner, a sign painter and window dresser in the mid to late 1940s, began providing cities and businesses with Christmas decorations upon request in the early 1950s. Requests for home holiday décor soon followed, and the year-round Christmas decorations business was born.

Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland’s first year-round location, a downtown structure built by Wally’s father, quickly expanded to two additional buildings. In 1977, Bronner’s moved to its current location, 25 Christmas Lane, where it continued to expand.

Bronner’s features over 50,000 trims and gifts for all seasons, reasons and budgets. Half of Bronner’s items sell for under $10, and two thirds sell for under $20. Guests to Bronner’s can find an ornament to commemorate most any occasion from over 6,000 ornament styles available. Many ornaments can be personalized at no additional cost. Customer service can put together a beautiful ornament gift box in celebration of a wedding, anniversary, birthday, retirement, new baby, or other special occasion. Friends unable to make a visit to the Frankenmuth store can shop Bronner’s online at www.bronners.com, where Christmas lights, trees, wreaths, ornaments, stockings, tree skirts, collectibles, Nativity scenes, home décor, outdoor décor and more are available.

Nearly two million guests visit Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland annually from around the world. Bronner’s and Frankenmuth  make a popular summer vacation destination and a must-see attraction during the months leading up to Christmas. Bronner’s salesroom, the size of 1.7 football fields (2.2 acres), is filled with displays featuring over 300 decorated trees and more than 700 animated and fiberglass figurines. Approximately 100,000 lights illuminate Bronner’s half-mile long Christmas Lane every evening for guests’ enjoyment.

A visit to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland isn’t complete without a stop by the Silent Night Memorial Chapel. A replica of the original chapel in Oberndorf, Austria, where “Silent Night” was first sung in 1818, Bronner’s chapel was dedicated in 1992. A tribute of thankfulness to God from Wally and Irene Bronner and family, the memorial chapel is open daily for visitation and meditation. The Bronner family will host a Christmas-carol sing-along Thursday and Friday, December 22 and 23, from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Bronner’s program center in section 2. On Saturday, December 24, from 3 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., a member of the Bronner family and guest guitarist will lead the singing of “Silent Night” in Bronner’s Silent Night Memorial Chapel. The public is invited to attend.