Santa Claus will make a stop in Imlay City on Saturday for the Winter Playground parade and tree lighting ceremony before greeting youngsters.

Find Christmas season fun at events around the Tri-City area

Winter Playground

IMLAY CITY — The Christmas holiday season returns to downtown Imlay City on Saturday, Dec. 7, when the Imlay City DDA and Chamber of Commerce co-sponsor the 2019 Winter Playground.
From 5-8 p.m., residents and visitors are invited downtown to celebrate the season by shopping downtown and joining in various family-friendly activities.
The 2019 Winter Playground Parade, featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, will wind its way down Third Street, starting at 6 p.m. The parade will include lighted floats representing area businesses, various youth civic organizations and perennial parade favorites, the Imlay City Fire Department.
Following the parade, Santa and the Mrs. will light the community Christmas tree located in front of the Imlay City Police Department.
Santa will then meet with children at Doug Halabicky’s new State Farm Insurance office on Third Street, across from the Imlay City post office.

Holiday shopping
Many downtown businesses will be open before and after the parade to accommodate holiday shoppers. So bring along your pocketbooks and Christmas spirit.
All are invited to take advantage of the various warming stations and refreshments available, along with horse-drawn carriage rides through the downtown district.

Light up the season
Chamber Director Shannon Hamel encourages parade participants to decorate their cars, trucks, tractors, floats, bicycles, or even themselves.
“This is a light parade, so let’s light up Imlay City,” Hamel. “For our business community, this is an opportunity to show off your business while our downtown streets are lined with hundreds of people watching.”
For more information about the parade, call Shannon Hamel at 810-542-3256 or drop off parade applications at the Imlay City Hall, 150 N. Main St.
For information about the DDA-sponsored Winter Playground, call Imlay City DDA Director, Lorrelei Natke, or DDA Assistant, Katrina Morrow at 810-724-2135.

Cranberry Christmas

CAPAC — The Capac Chamber of Commerce’s Cranberry Christmas event comes to town this Saturday, Dec. 7.
As in the past, the day’s events will include craft shows, horse-drawn wagon rides, s’more roasting, pictures with Santa at the Capac Library and much more.
New this year is a Free Clothing Giveaway at St. John’s Lutheran Church from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Returning to the day’s events is a Free Food Giveaway but the 2019 event will have a different location. From 9-10:30 a.m. a food truck will be parked at the Mussey Township Fire Hall. While there, attendees can grab free hats and mittens, courtesy of Tri-County Bank.
Shoppers have two locations to find a great gift. The Conrad Community Center will host their Winter Berry Bazaar that day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Cranberry Christmas Craft Show will be held at the Capac Historical Society.
Additionally, the Conrad Community Center will also host horse-drawn wagon rides from 12:30-2:30 p.m., from 12-2 p.m. a free streetside s’mores roast and a Memory Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:15 p.m.
Downtown, guests can enjoy a Kids’ Holiday Scavenger Hunt starting at 12:30 p.m. followed by Snacks and Crafts from 1-4 p.m., all located at the Zumba Studio on Main Street.
The popular Gingerbread Forest will be up and ready for photo-ops outside of Mr. R’s and the eatery will play host to a Chili Cook-off at 3:30 p.m. that day.
Enjoy a Holiday Storytime event at the Capac Library starting at 1 p.m. and then it’s Santa’s turn to set up shop. From 2:15 to 4:30 p.m. he’ll be accepting wish lists and posing for photos, also at the library.
The festivities conclude with a Lighted Parade down Main Street starting at 5:30 p.m. which concludes with a Tree Lighting ceremony at the corner of Main and Mill streets.
Businesses, community groups and anyone who would like to participate in the parade can register by sending an email to or contacting Samantha Ramirez at 810-334-5870, call or text.
Parade lineup begins at 5 p.m. in the high school parking lot and begin its route towards downtown at 5:30 p.m.
More information, including a complete schedule of events, can be found on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

Holly Day Light Parade

ALMONT — Almont’s Holly Day Light Parade returns for its 22nd year on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The parade, sponsored by the Almont Downtown Development Authority (DDA), will make its way down Main Street at 7 p.m.
The traditional lighted parade will feature the members of the Michigan Division 5 Regional Champion Almont Raiders football team, along with the high school marching band and numerous lighted floats and walking units representing Almont Scouts, businesses, youth sports programs, churches, community service organizations and more.
As always, the highlight of the parade will be the arrival of Santa Claus who will stop by Sippin’ at the Mitten to hear children’s Christmas wishes.
Almont DDA Director Kim Schall noted that at the conclusion of the parade, all are invited to witness the official lighting of the village’s new Black Hills Spruce tree at the northwest corner of Main and St. Clair streets.
Additionally, there will be a memorial tree dedication to acknowledge three Almont High School graduates and Boy Scouts, all of whom were friends and lost their lives in separate unrelated accidents in 1982.
The planting of the new holiday tree, which includes new shrubbery, flowering plants and ornamental grasses beneath the tree, was funded by the DDA, under the supervision of Almont-based American Tree.

Pre-parade fun
Residents and visitors are advised to arrive early for the parade to fully enjoy the numerous pre-parade activities for young and old.
From 4-6 p.m., Santa Claus takes up temporary residence at Sippin’ in the Mitten & Aurora Realty at 102 S. Main St., where children can share their Christmas wishes and receive a small gift. Refreshments will be served and parents are encouraged to bring along their cameras to capture the moment for posterity.
Down the street, the Almont Historical Museum, 149 S. Main St., will open from 1-8 p.m. for visitors hear about Almont’s history and view items dating back to the 1800s.
From 4:30-6:30 p.m., children are invited to step inside the museum to make holiday decorations and write letters to Santa to be placed in a special mail box for letters destined for the North Pole.
At 6:30 p.m., the Almont High School Varsity Singers will lead a Community Holiday Singalong at Fountain Park, where everyone can gather around the warming fire at Fountain Park.
Schall acknowledged returning parade announcer, Terry Roach, and everyone who volunteered or sponsored the parade and other downtown activities.

Festival of Trees
The First Congregational Church invites the public to their Festival of Trees event on Saturday, Dec. 7 starting at 6 p.m.
Guests are welcome to enjoy free refreshments and tour the church where decorated trees can be found throughout the historic building.
Their doors will be open before, during and after the parade.

Cookie Sale

DRYDEN — The Dryden Historical Society hosts their annual Cookie Sale on Saturday, Dec. 7 starting at 10 a.m.
Society members will be selling wrapped cookie plates, each containing 18 cookies, at the Depot Museum, located on Main Street in downtown Dryden.
Each plate costs $5 with proceeds from this year’s sale going toward the purchase of new windows for the depot museum.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.