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Dec. 6-8: plan your Hometown Holiday weekend schedule

(Chelsea Update would like to thank D&B Strategic Marketing for the information in this story.)

Chelsea Area Festivals & Events is preparing to welcome a garland of festive events during the 33rd Annual Chelsea Hometown Holiday weekend, Dec. 6-8.

Sponsored by Rick Taylor Real Estate – Reinhart Realtors, the weekend includes a jam-packed calendar of joyful events, including holiday music, visits with Santa, gift making, and so much more. The city of Chelsea will be decked in holiday splendor to warm the hearts of visitors and to put us all in the holiday spirit.

Friday, Dec. 6
Festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Friday with a Tree Lighting Ceremony, presented by Chelsea Rotary, under the gazebo in Piece Park on Main St. The 2019 Chelsea Community Fair Queen Madison Welshans, will light the holiday tree as Santa makes a special appearance when he arrives in the Chelsea Area Fire Authority ladder truck. Students from the Beach Middle School choir will lead the crowds with a community holiday sing-along.

At 6:30 p.m., Santa heads to First Congregational Church at 121 E. Middle St. where he will spend the evening listening to special wishes from Chelsea’s children during the Nadine Anderson Santa Workshop. The Chelsea Children’s Co-op Preschool coordinates free craft projects for the children; parents are encouraged to bring their camera for photo opportunities with Santa against the beautiful backdrop designed by Vintage Barn Boutique.

Pre-register for times to see Santa at

Visitors at Santa’s Workshop are also invited to write a prayer or wish for peace and fold it into an origami crane that will be part of the 1,000 Cranes for Peace display.

Just north of the First Congregational Church, and across from the train depot, Chelsea Farmer’s Supply welcomes the community for Christmas story-telling in partnership with Chelsea District Library from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Santa’s helper will make the magic of the holidays come alive with stories and songs.

The Live Nativity Scene is at a new location with shows starting at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Palmer Commons. The cherished outdoor community event includes live animals and a community Christmas choir. The non-denominational choir welcomes new voices to join them, email Deanna Robbins at [email protected].

Chelsea ATA Martial Arts, located at 420 North Main St., provides a fun place to decorate free sugar cookies donated by Stone House Oven from 6:30–8:30 p.m. ATA Martial Arts instructors and students will be performing demonstrations throughout the event. Next door, Ink Frenzy invites visitors to warm-up inside while making a free hot chocolate ornament.

Also on Friday, all ages are invited to the Chelsea Senior Center at WSEC, 500 Washington St., between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to indulge in a cookie or two. Freshly baked sugar cookies will be available to decorate and enjoy. Questions, call the Chelsea Senior Center at 734-475-9242.

Saturday, Dec. 7
Throughout Saturday, holiday festivities continue with various events planned in Chelsea’s shops. Look for the #ShopChelseaMich Gift Guide for holiday bargains, unique treasures, and giveaways. Business event details are at

On the reverse side of the gift guide flyer, explore the map of Custom Gingerbread Homes on display throughout local businesses.

Saturday morning, from 8:30–10:30 a.m., children are invited to Bruce Szcodronski’s Breakfast with Santa at Chelsea Comfort Inn and Village Conference Center. Children enjoy a free pancake breakfast and a chance to sit with Santa. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras to capture special moments.

The Chelsea First United Methodist Church hosts the Material Girls Christmas Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Children ages three years through 6th grade can shop for the holiday from thousands of affordable items priced one to five dollars. In addition to Saturday’s appointments, early shopping is available on Thursday, Dec. 5 for families who would benefit from a quieter shopping experience. Limited appointments are available on both days and children must register in advance at

The Pam Radcliffe Gingerbread House Workshop holds three decorating sessions between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 121 East Middle St. Families work together to decorate a pre-built gingerbread house for the holidays. Only 100 houses are available and must be reserved by calling the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce at 734-475-1145 or online at The 3rd session, open at 1 p.m. is intended for special needs families and adults.

For tweens ages 10 to 17, the Chelsea District Library presents a craft workshop from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, where registered participants can make and wrap a personalized gift. Registration is required; call (734) 475-8732 or visit for details.

Chelsea Area Historical Society (CAHS) invites visitors to join a docent-led walking tour of historic homes starting at their museum located at 128 Jackson St. Tour tickets are $20 per person or $17 for museum members. This year, the tour includes half a dozen older downtown area homes. Many of the homes have been recently updated and all retain their historic appeal and will be decorated for the holidays. Details can be found at the CAHS website, by calling 734-476-2010, or by email at [email protected].

A wonderful artisans’ show featuring unique local talent takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chelsea Fairgrounds located at the corner of Old US Hwy 12 and Old Manchester Road. All the Trimmings Artisan’s Holiday Show includes woodcarvings, bears, tiles, folk paintings, textiles, jewelry, antiques and collectibles, rug hooking, and fresh Christmas greens. Free refreshments, free admission, and free parking.

Also featuring local artists and crafts, St. Barnabas hosts the 6th annual Quilt Show and Sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 20500 W Old US Hwy-12.

Saturday evening, the 15th Annual Holiday Light Parade begins at 6 p.m. with fabulous lighted floats and marching units. The parade will have the same route this year, starting at Chelsea State Bank’s south lot on the corner of Old US Hwy 12 and Main St, and travels north along Main St. to the Chelsea Historic Depot on Jackson St.

Immediately following the parade, the community is invited to a “Lights Out” celebration in the Clocktower Commons. Live music, S’mores and hot chocolate will be provided by Main Street Church at 320 N. Main. 

Sunday, Dec. 8
On Sunday, Dec. 8, Chelsea Chamber Players present free performances at the First United Methodist Church (FUMC) at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.  FUMC and Chelsea High School Choirs, Chelsea High School Orchestra and Chelsea Chamber Players present a special holiday performance with music by Britten Whitacre, Gjeilo, and Sprujt. Please call Chelsea FUMC at 734-475-8119 for more information.

The Material Girls Christmas Bazaar at FUMC will be open to all before, during, and after the Chelsea Chamber Player Events.

Ongoing Community Holiday Events

Santa’s Direct Mail Box is centrally located in Palmer Commons on Main Street, and children are welcome to mail their Christmas wish list direct to Santa. To receive a return letter, parents need to include an envelope complete with their mailing address and postage and place in the box before Dec. 15.

Chelsea Area Fire Authority will be collecting Presents for Pups donations (not tax-deductible) for the Mikey and Me Foster Dog Rescue. Donations can be dropped off at the fire station located at 200 W. Middle St. through Dec. 24.

Chelsea District Library is coordinating a Teen Holiday Hygiene Drive Dec. 2 till Jan. 5. Help homeless children and teens this December by donating hygiene supplies to benefit Chelsea Faith in Action and the Ozone House of Ann Arbor.

The annual Christmas on the (Waterloo) Farm showcases holiday’s traditions and includes tours of the ten-room farmhouse, the authentic log house, eight outbuildings, and the one-room Dewey School. Hand-crafted greens, homemade baked goods, and gift items will be available for purchase. Free refreshments and live music will be among the offerings for this homespun weekend held Dec. 7-8.

Ballet Chelsea is celebrating its 22nd annual performance of The Nutcracker in collaboration with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra will provide live musical accompaniment to all four performances of this holiday classic. Before the matinees, tickets are also available for the Sugar Plum Tea.

Visit for tickets.

Chelsea offers charms of a small town with big-city sophistication. You will enjoy award-winning restaurants and shops which provide everything from handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry to exceptional home furnishings to unique clothing. Catch the holiday spirit with a stop at one of the area tree farms and take in the festivities throughout the weekend.

For a complete schedule of events, visit

It is through the generous support of our sponsors that Hometown Holiday takes place year after year. Presenting Sponsor: Rick Taylor Real Estate – Reinhart Realtors. Gold Bell Sponsor: Chelsea Retirement Community. Silver Bell Sponsors: Bill Ballagh State Farm Insurance, Hardwood Solutions Inc., Key Bank, Lane Animal Hospital, Live in Balance Consulting, Olive Lodge #156, and Secret Crisis Comics. Bronze Bell Sponsors: LAFCU – Your Credit Union or Life, Moran’s Consignment, O&W Inc – Labatt Brewing Company, Rick Eder – Farm Bureau Insurance, Redfin, Stieper & Brust Orthodontics, and Vintage Barn Boutique.



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