Festivities abound in Saline as the holiday season begins and Santa comes to town.
On Friday, holiday events kick-off with the annual tree lighting ceremony held in front of located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and North Ann Arbor Street. The lighting will take place at 7 p.m. and offer visitors hot chocolate, cookies and a Christmas carol sing along.
The 37th Annual Saline Area Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade will begin at 5:30 pm on Saturday with “Joy to the World” being the theme this year. The parade will feature professional entertainment, animals, bands, unicyclist, twirlers and more.
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A free shuttle to the parade is offered to visitors from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. between Busch’s Shopping Center and the shuttle stop behind Mac’s Acadian Seafood Shack. “I estimate that with the holiday parade and all the events leading up to it -- and the week following -- we will attract in excess of 20,000 people to the area,” said Saline Chamber Director Art Trapp.
A raffle will be held during the parade and the grand prize will be $1,000 worth of free groceries from Busch’s. Additional drawings throughout the parade will also be held for free groceries.
“Saline’s unofficial shopping season is also about to kick off with this coming weekend’s traditional holiday open houses at downtown retailers such as Pineapple House and The Cobblestone Rose. People wait with anticipation for days, even months, to be one of the first to see what unique things these stores have to offer,” Trapp said. “We make it a point to have our seasonal tree lighting display to give downtown that special holiday atmosphere.”
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More holiday events coming up in Saline:
- Saline's Moonlight Madness Craft Show will be held Dec. 7 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Saline Middle School, located at 7190 N. Maple Rd. The event will feature 150 craft booths, concession and a bake sale.
- Children can visit Santa’s Village at Stone Arts Arch and Events at 117 N. Ann Arbor St. Visitors visiting Santa can bring along their own camera for photos. Santa will be available immediately after the holiday parade on Saturday. “Santa will also be along for horse drawn carriage rides and more fun for kids of all ages,” said Trapp.
- Saline Area Players will perform "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" throughout the weekend at Stone Arch.
- Treasure Trail to Santa will be held Dec. 8 at Busch’s Shopping Center from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lucky winners will get stockings full of goodies from local merchants.