Your 2018 Guide to Holiday Events in Downtown Alpena

Twas the month before Christmas, and all through downtown, each business was stirring with holiday events to be found! (Sorry, I had to).

There’s no lack of festive activities happening in Downtown Alpena from now until Christmas! Here’s a round-up of events happening to get in the holiday spirit:

1. Third Annual Downtown Holiday Open House. Friday Nov 16 through Sunday Nov 18. Kick off the holiday season with special promotions and giveaways throughout downtown.

2. Besser Museum Jingle Bell Run.   Friday Nov 23 beginning at 5 pm. Deck yourself out in Christmas style and join the Besser Museum in dashing, dancing, and prancing down the Bolenz Jewelry Holiday Parade route! Runners and walkers will be the first entry in the parade. Early registration $5 students/ $10 adults/ $25 family. For registration and race details visit here. 

3. Bolenz Jewelry Holiday Parade.  Friday Nov 23 beginning at 5:30 pm. View the holiday parade as it comes down Chisholm and Second Avenue. Afterwards, join the tree-lighting ceremony in Culligan Plaza and greet Santa as he arrives to his house.

Photo by Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce.

4. Holiday Market by Falls Creek. Saturday Nov 24, 10 am -4 pm. Join Falls Creek Produce & Flowers in Culligan Plaza for their first-ever holiday market, where they will be selling fresh, handmade wreaths, swags, porch pots, and more.

5. Small Business Saturday in Downtown Alpena. Saturday Nov 24. You know the drill. After Black Friday, make sure to come downtown, show our local businesses some love, and find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.

I’ve heard books make great Christmas presents. Photo by Blue Phoenix Books.

6. Home for the Howlidays. Saturday Nov 24, 3 pm- 7 pm.  Ever wanted to see Downtown Alpena’s apartments? Here’s your chance! Join this second-annual fundraiser for Huron Humane Society and  after party as As You Wish/ Blue Phoenix. Tickets $25 to tour four apartments decked out for the holidays, entry to the after-party, and one ticket for the gift raffle.

7. Winter Art Walk. Friday Nov 30, 5- 8 pm. The art galleries of downtown will be open late and featuring winter art walk, receptions, live music, and more. And I heard there may be wine. Stops open late include Art in the Loft, Thunder Bay Arts Council & Gallery, Forty-Five North Art Gallery, My Glass Wings, The Rabbit Hole and My Front Porch Decor.

8. Suite Salon Spa Open House. Saturday Dec 1, 2- 4 pm. Prizes, giveaways, product and gift certificate promotions, and more! Come and see what studio owners have to offer this holiday season.

9. Elf on the Shelf in Downtown Alpena. The elves have arrived in Downtown Alpena! For the month of December, visit participating stops to find the elf and be entered to win a downtown prize. More information will be coming your way soon.

10. Festive classes at Art in the Loft. Okay, we couldn’t choose just one. Some of Art in the Loft’s upcoming events for the month of the December include a Hand-Printed Christmas Card Workshop , a family-friendly Holiday Make & Take, and Snacks and Songs with SantaStay up-to-date with all the Loft’s classes by viewing their full calendar here. 

Photo by Art in the Loft.

11. Visit with Santa Downtown. Saturday Dec 15 & 22, 12-4 pm. Santa will be in his cottage in Culligan Plaza two Saturday’s this season. On Dec 15, we’ll be throwing a party to celebrate his arrival with elves, hot cocoa, music, and cookies.

12. Downtown Gingerbread Competition. Downtown is having its first-ever gingerbread competition, and entries will be on display Dec 15- 22nd in various downtown businesses! Make a purchase at any stop and get a ballot to vote on your favorite, or swing by the DDA Office. Who will take home the gingerbread cup?! For more information or to register an entry, visit here. 

Some inspiration.

13. Aunt Edna’s Dreadful Holiday Party.  Saturday Dec 22, 6 pm- 2 am at the Fresh Palate. Aunt Edna is back, with ugly Christmas sweaters, food, candy, caroling, and some nog. No cover charge.

And if all else fails, come on downtown to cozy up with a Peppermint Mocha or a glass of wine.

Have a happy holiday season!


Anne Gentry is Executive Director of the Alpena DDA, writes for Blog Downtown Alpena, and is head of holiday downtown services. Follow the blog on insta @blogdowntownalpena and give us a like on FB too.

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