By Todd Ortbring
The annual Chelsea Hometown Holiday is a festive, fun-filled weekend celebration that traditionally kicks-off the holiday season in Chelsea.
This year marks the 25th consecutive year for the event, that will take place Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.
The activities start on Friday night, when Santa Claus arrives to light the giant Christmas tree at Pierce Park. Youngsters will have a chance to sit on Santa's lap and share their wish list with him at the Chelsea Train Depot.
“Unlike some of the other big events in town, this event is really for the people of Chelsea,” said Bob Pierce, executive director of the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce. “This is a true local celebration and we don’t really market outside of the community for that reason.”
There are many other attractions during the weekend, including the 8th annual Holiday Light Parade along Main Street on Saturday evening, followed by the community sing and afterglow party at the Chelsea Teddy Bear Company.
“The parade and sing-along really represent the holiday spirit here in Chelsea,” Pierce said. “It doesn't get much warmer or fuzzier than that event.”
Several activities from last year's event will be back for this year.
Chelsea District Library is once again offering a teen and tween gift-making session on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Children in kindergarten through 5th grade have the opportunity to shop for loved ones on their list at the Children’s Christmas Bazaar at the First United Methodist Church,
also on Saturday. Participants must sign up at www.signupgenius.com/go/201268.
The church will also host two gingerbread house workshops from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Families can decorate their own custom gingerbread house for free. To reserve a slot, call 734-475-1145.
Kids and their families are invited to have a free breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning at the Chelsea Comfort Inn & Village Conference Center, courtesy of Lake Trust Credit Union. Just down the road, dozens of local artists and crafters will show and sell their work at the "All The Trimmings Artisans Holiday Show" at the Chelsea Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday features musical concerts throughout the day including the Chelsea Chamber Players performing two free holiday shows at the First United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The local church choirs will perform holidays songs at the Festival of Lessons & Carols at the Chelsea Retirement Center Chapel at 6:30 p.m.
Throughout the weekend, many local merchants will be open late for shopping. Free gift wrapping, refreshments, demonstrations and entertainment will be available at select stores.
For more information and a detailed list of events and activities, visit chelseafestivals.com or call 734-475-1145.
Hometown Holiday is sponsored by KeyBank, Chelsea Teddy Bear Company, and Lake Trust Credit Union. The event is cosponsored and planned by the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce.