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Nov. 30-Dec. 2: your guide to Chelsea’s Hometown Holiday

Photo by Burrill Strong. Santa arrives at Pierce Park at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30 to kick off Hometown Holiday.

(Publisher’s note: Ink Frenzy will have hot chocolate ornaments. This mistake is mine and has been corrected in the story. Chelsea Update would like to thank D&B Strategic Marketing for the information in this story and Burrill Strong for the photos.)

Chelsea Area Festivals & Events is preparing to welcome a garland of festive events during the 32nd Annual Chelsea Hometown Holiday weekend, Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

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 will be decked in holiday splendor to warm the hearts of visitors and to put us all in the holiday spirit. 

File photo from the live nativity event at Hometown Holiday.

Friday, Nov. 30

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 Street.  The 2018 Chelsea Community Fair Queen Madison Brodeur, 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. (note new location this year) where he will spend the evening listening to special wishes from Chelsea’s children during Santa’s Workshop. The Chelsea Children’s Co-op Preschool sponsors free craft projects for the children – parents are encouraged to bring their camera for photo opportunities with Santa.  Pre-register for times to see Santa at

Just north of the First Congregational Church , and across from the train depot, Chelsea Farmer’s Supply welcomes the community for Mrs. Claus’ Christmas story-telling presented by Chelsea District Library from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mrs. Claus will make the magic of the holidays come alive with stories and songs.  Bring your camera for a photo with Mrs. Claus.

The Live Nativity Scene at the Clocktower Gazebo has shows starting at 7 and 7:30 p.m. The cherished outdoor community event includes live animals and a community Christmas choir. The non-denominal 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 Chelsea Bakery 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 and decorate free hot chocolate ornaments.

Stop by the Chelsea District Library from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to listen to the musical group, Common Chords. The heartwarming holiday performance by the hand bell choir is accompanied by light refreshments. Presented by Chelsea District Library.

Also on Friday, all ages are invited to the Chelsea Senior Center at WSEC, 500 Washington St.,  between 11 am 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.

File photo. Presents with a Presence in the Hometown Holiday Light parade.

Saturday, Dec. 1

Throughout Saturday, holiday festivities continue with various events planned in Chelsea’s shops.  Look for “Lights Up & Shop Local” signs for holiday bargains, unique treasures and giveaways. Business event details can be found in the Chelsea community calendar at

Saturday morning, from 8:30-10:30 a.m., children are invited to Bruce’s Breakfast with Santa at Chelsea Comfort Inn and Village Conference Center, sponsored by Lake Trust Credit Union.  Children enjoy a free pancake breakfast and a chance to sit with Santa.  The breakfast’s festivities celebrate Bruce Szcodronski and his impact on this cherished Hometown Holiday event. 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 3 years through 6th grade can shop for the holiday from thousands of affordable items priced $1-$5 dollars. In addition to Saturday’s appointments, early shopping will be offered on Nov. 29 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 11a.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. The Gingerbread House Workshop is sponsored by Bill Ballagh, State Farm Insurance Agent.

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.

Holiday Home Tour poster
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. All proceeds from this event will go toward the CAHS 2019 Match Campaign.  This year, the tour includes half a dozen older downtown area homes along with an inside tour of the historic Welfare Building, which sits alongside the Clock Tower. Many of the homes have been recently rehabbed 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 [email protected].

A wonderful artisans’ show featuring unique local talent takes place 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 artist and crafts, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church hosts the 5th annual Quilt Show and Sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 20500 W Old US Hwy 12. 

Saturday evening, the 14th 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 Street and travels north along Main Street to the Chelsea Historic Depot on Jackson Street. The parade will not cross to the north side of the railroad tracks.

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. 2

On Sunday, Dec. 2, Chelsea Chamber Players present free performances at the First United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.  A special holiday performance featuring American Rhapsody, set by Z. Randall Stroope, 2 Arab pieces Nasam Alayna il-Hawa and Zuruni, Holberg Suite by Grieg,  and a Christmas Carol sing-a-long. Presented by the Chelsea Chamber Players along with students from the Chelsea High School Orchestra (Jed Fritzemeier and Nathan Peters, director), the Chelsea High School Choirs (Steve Hinz and Kristin Berger, directors),  the Chelsea FUMC Chancel Choir (Mark Loring, director), and the Dearborn Fordson High School Choirs (Matt Laura, director), and select musicians from the National Arab Orchestra. Please call Chelsea FUMC at 734-475-8119 for more information.

The Church of Latter-Day Saints presents a Christmas Concert on Sunday at 5 p.m. at 1330 N. Freer Road. The community is invited to the interfaith musical program featuring beloved Christmas music performed by congregational and children’s choirs. Refreshments to follow the performance.

Through the weekend

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

On Saturday and Sunday,  the annual Christmas on the (Waterloo) Farm showcases holiday’s traditions and includes tours of the 10-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.

Ballet Chelsea is celebrating their 21st annual performance of The Nutcracker in a collaboration with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra will provide live musical accompaniment to all four performances of this holiday classic. Visit for tickets.

For a complete schedule of events visit and

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