Ten ways to get festive this holiday season in downtown Alpena

November is here. Is it too early to start getting festive? The blog thinks not. Here are ten things to mark your calendar for this holiday season in downtown Alpena:

1. Shop at the Downtown Holiday Open House, hosted by the Marketplace. November 17 through November 19.  Get a head start on your holiday shopping with this second annual downtown shopping event. Stores will have special sales, give-aways, and extra-festive displays for the holiday season.


2. Check out the Season of Light Christmas Gala & exhibit at the Besser Museum. Kicks off November 18 at 6 pm. The annual Season of Light exhibit features fourteen trees decorated by community organizations, including a special tree decorated by the DDA with decor from downtown shops. Tickets for the gala are $15 and include live music from the Alpena Symphony, heavy hors d’oeuvres, sweets, prizes, and cash bar. 

3. Celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with live music. Family in town? Old friends? Come downtown for one of the biggest bar nights of the year. The Blood Money Men perform at the Nucleus Lounge‘s Give Thanks Party on Wednesday (11/22) and Bobbing for Piranhas play at Latitude’s on both Friday & Saturday (11/24 and 11/25). An open-mic night will also happen at The Black Sheep the night before Thanksgiving (11/22).

4. Watch the Bolenz Jewelry Holiday Parade, Friday November 24 beginning at 5:30 pm. The annual evening holiday parade ends with the lighting of the Christmas tree in Culligan Plaza.

Santa’s float at the parade last year.

5. Visit local art galleries & studios at the Winter Art Walk. Saturday November 25, 12- 5 pm. The Art Walks from the summer are back for a special winter walk. Winter exhibits, special receptions, and live music in the galleries make for a perfect Saturday stroll to support local artists and find one-of-a-kind gifts. Free and open to the public.



6. Tour downtown apartments at Home for the Howlidays. Saturday November 25 from 4-8 pm. Ever wanted to check out downtown’s apartments? Here’s your chance. Six apartments will be decked out in holiday decor. Afterwards, head to the after-party at Fletcher Street Depot. Tickets $20 for the tour. 

7. Shop local at Small Business Saturday in downtown. Enjoy the Winter Art Walk and stop in downtown’s local shops and eateries along the way. Shop local and shop small at this national event.



8. Enjoy seasonal specialties at our downtown eateries. From mulled wine to sushi specials, from a killer bloody mary bar to gourmet ramen, our local eateries have you covered for the holiday season. Oh– and did we mention Downtown Scoops is open until the end of December this year?


9. Enjoy a performance of Meet Me in St. Louis at Thunder Bay Theatre. The iconic movie starring Judy Garland hits the stage with TBT and AHS Masquer’s Club. Try not to sing along to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”  The play runs from November 24 through December 10, Thursday through Sunday’s. Tickets here.

The holiday classic.

10. Bring out your best holiday sweater at the Fresh Palate’s Awful Christmas Party. December 23. Live entertainment, ugly Christmas apparel contest, caroling, contests, giveaways, and Aunt Edna’s awful sweets and eats.

We’ll see you downtown this holiday season!

Snowflakes for sale at Downtown Scoops.


This Blog Downtown Alpena dose of holiday cheer brought to you by Anne Gentry, Executive Director of the Alpena DDA. Blog Downtown Alpena always welcomes new likes & follows on Facebook here and on instagram @blogdowntownalpena. Spread the cheer.

2 thoughts on “Ten ways to get festive this holiday season in downtown Alpena

  1. What about the Dork Brother’s 15th Annual Turkey Trot? A chance to not feel guilty at the Thanksgiving dinner table…


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