Festival helps celebrate the Christmas season


IMLAY CITY — The Imlay City Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Winterfest celebrations Saturday, with activities planned throughout the day and evening.

Winterfest, formerly known as the Winter Playground will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A day of holiday events will cap off with a lighted parade through downtown at 6 p.m. and a tree lighting afterward at Lamb Steele Park.

The special guest of the season, Santa Claus will be made welcome to Imlay City when Imlay City Mayor Joi Kempf presents a key to the city. The jolly fellow and Mrs. Claus will be available for visits in the park gazebo until 8 p.m. after the tree-lighting ceremony.

Having worked to come up with a new lineup for Winterfest, organizers say there are many new events including breakfast with Santa at El Ranchito’s restaurant from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (reservations required) and emergency vehicles display from noon to 4 p.m. in the parking area of Third and Main Streets.

Free horse-drawn wagon rides are always a hit and will cruise throughout the downtown area from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Other planned activities include pinata games at Third and Main Streets at 4 p.m., a live nativity at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the Kringle Winter Market inside the Old Fire Hall on Third Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Food trucks will also be stationed outside the fire hall.

To help keep the young ones busy, families can stop by Kids Craft Stations from noon to 4 p.m. downtown and take part in activities including personalized Christmas stockings at The Happy Little Quilt Shop on East Third St., ornament-making at King & King CPAs on North Almont Ave. and cookie decorating at The Balanced Chef on East Third St.

There will also be warming stations throughout the downtown area, with hot cocoa and s’mores sponsored by Imlay City Parks and Recreation.

To enter the parade or to be a sponsor for Winterfest, contact Christiana Bishop, Executive Director of the Imlay City Area Chamber of Commerce, at 810-542-3256 or icchamberexedir@gmail.com.

Vendor spots are still available at the Kringle Market. For more information on Winterfest, visit icdda.com/winterfest-2023.