You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 10:18 a.m.

Events celebrate the spirit of the season this Thanksgiving weekend

By Jennifer Eberbach

On the day after Thanksgiving, some will brave Black Friday and others will contentedly sleep off their meal. Many will look for something to do to entertain out-of-town relatives or get into the spirit of the season.

Thanksgiving weekend heralds the beginning of wintertime-themed and holiday events in Washtenaw County—festivals, tree lighting celebrations, visits with Santa, and local shopping specials.

If you are not stuck in a check-out line on Black Friday, or if you need a break from the shopping frenzy, stop by the Michigan Theater at 11:30 a.m. for Warner Bros. cartoons. And while you are downtown, make sure to drop your letters to Santa off in front of Schakolad. "Santa's Mailbox" will receive letters until Dec. 17.

Dexter gets the season rolling with the annual village-wide Winter Festival, this Saturday, Nov. 24, presented by the Dexter Chamber of Commerce and local businesses. Special activities, events, and shopping specials across town will be hosted by Dexter businesses. At dusk, head to Monument Park for the big event—Dexter's tree lighting ceremony, featuring holiday caroling.

All day long Saturday, wreaths will be on display at Monument Park and on the front doors of Dexter businesses. Bid on them by silent auction to take them home with you. Funds will support Faith in Action, a local faith based community assistance center.

Dexter's Pub will hold "Story Time" from 11 a.m. to noon. And then head over to Monument Park to meet Santa, from noon to 3 p.m., hosted by the Dexter Historical Society. Upstream Investment Partners is sponsoring a "Toy Drive in the Park," at Monument Park from noon to 5 p.m. LaFontaine is collecting food donations all day for Faith in Action. Other offerings around town include a coloring contest and root beer floats at Aubree's Pizzeria & Grill and much more. Check the website for a full list of offerings at other participants.

Elsewhere in Washtenaw County, there will be more chances this weekend to get downtown, hear carolers, see a huge Christmas tree come to life, and visit with Santa. In Ypsilanti, head to Depot Town for the Depot Town Tree-Lighting Celebration, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the corner of East Cross Street and North River Street. And in Ann Arbor, you can get into the holiday spirit at the Kerrytown Market & Shops Annual Tree Lighting Festival, on Sunday, Nov. 25, from 5-6 p.m. Both tree lightings will feature carolers and Santa.

In Chelsea, Boy Scout Troop 425 will hold their Annual Holiday Greens Market, on Saturday, November 24 and again on December 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit the parking lot at Chelsea State Bank (Old US-12 and Main Street) to buy "wreaths, swags, grave stands, roping, and other specialty greens" from the Boy Scouts.

The Michigan Theater has a treat for fans of old musicals—they have a new spin on 1954 classic "White Christmas." On Sunday, Nov. 25, sing-along to the film "White Christmas" at 4 p.m. You will get "a free goodie bag full of special items tied to key scenes within the film," and be invited to interact with the movie, according to the event announcement. If you get there early, from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., you can carol along with the Barton Organ.

Find links to more Thanksgiving weekend events in Washtenaw County on

Thanksgiving weekend is just the beginning of holiday events in Washtenaw County. Next weekend is even more packed with downtown festivals, parades, and local shopping events. From "Midnight Madness" in Ann Arbor, to downtown celebrations in Chelsea, Saline, and Milan, next weekend brings the holiday season into full swing. Stay tuned for more coverage of upcoming winter events on