Holiday events in downtown Alpena

Christmas may be over a month away, but the holiday festivities have already started in downtown Alpena…

The tree has arrived! Photo by: Alpena Sanctuary of the Great Lakes.

Here is a roundup of events not to miss out on to get you in the holiday spirit:

1. Downtown Holiday Open House, November 18-20th. Start your holiday shopping at the first annual holiday open house in our downtown! Various downtown businesses will have special sales & give aways over the weekend.



2. Season of Light Opening Reception. Saturday November 19th from 6-8:30 pm at the Besser MuseumTake in the magic of Christmas throughout the museum while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, live music, a preview of the digital planetarium, and most importantly, the opening of the exhibit Stars of Wonder: A Celestial Celebration. Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance. Unable to make the event? Make sure to check out the exhibit & Christmas trees on display throughout the season. For full event details & to purchase tickets, click here.


3. Turkey Trot 5K Run/ Walk. Thursday November 24th at 9 am. Prepare for your Thanksgiving meal, meet fellow runners, and support the community at the Dorks‘ 14th annual turkey trot! Registration begins at 8 am at the APLEX, race begins promptly at 9 am. All proceeds benefit local food pantries & homeless shelters.  For full event details and how to register, click here. 

4. Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting Ceremony. Friday November 25th beginning at 5:30 pm. Bring a thermos of something warm and enjoy the annual tradition in downtown Alpena! Catch the parade beginning at 5:30 pm and the tree lighting immediately afterwards in Culligan Plaza.

Last year’s parade. Photo by Leslie Male.

5. The Sound of Music at Thunder Bay Theatre, running Friday November 25- December 11th. Come enjoy the classic Roger & Hammerstein’s musical at Northern Michigan’s only year-round professional theatre! TBT’s performance is featuring talented performers from Alpena High School. For tickets & full details, click here.

6. Visit with Santa, Saturday November 26- December 22. Santa will be coming to town after the Holiday Parade and will be in residence weekends from 12-4 pm and Wednesdays & Thursdays 5:30-7:30 pm in Culligan Plaza.

Santa’s house on the move! Photo by Alpena DDA.

7. WinterView Artist’s Reception at Art in the Loft. Thursday December 1st, 6-8 pm. The Gallery at Art in the Loft is opening their 2016 WinterView exhibit, featuring local artists’  work which will be on display through the winter season! Mix and mingle with local artists,  grab a drink from the cash bar, grab some snacks, and enjoy live music. Free admission. For Facebook event, click here.


Photo by Art in the Loft.

8. Wreath Making Demonstration with Alpena Farmers’ Market, Saturday December 3rd, 10 am- 2 pm at Alpena Mall. Learn how to make fresh Christmas wreaths at the market– and pick up fresh bread, jams, and other cold-weather goodies while you’re at it. The Farmers’ Market runs during the winter Saturdays 10 am- 2pm at their indoor location  (Alpena Mall).

9. Thunder Bay Arts Council Holiday Chorus Concert, Sunday December 4th at 4 pm. Enjoy a variety of of carols, anthems, and folk melodies from around the world, all in the festively decorated First United Methodist Church. Great for the whole family! Reception to follow. Tickets are $15 (in advance or at the door) or $25 for two (in advance only). Children and students are free. Buy tickets in advance here.

10. And of course- shop local this holiday season. Bundle up & browse the local shops, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes that Alpena has to offer. Shop local for everyone on your list– naughty or nice.

Mulled wine anyone? Photo by Thunder Bay Winery.
Christmas displays at the Marketplace. Photo by the Marketplace.

To you and yours– here’s wishing you a very happy holiday season.

Blog Downtown Alpena is written by Anne Gentry in conjunction with Alpena DDA. Follow the blog on Facebook & share to spread Christmas cheer.

One thought on “Holiday events in downtown Alpena

  1. Project Blue Light Dec. ?, I will miss it as in New Mexico.

    Contact Lori Seguin or Dianne Sims.
    Via Alpena County SHERIFF Dept.
    Jerome Smigelski


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