Holiday festivities planned in Standish, AuGres
ARENAC COUNTY – Residents of AuGres and Standish have a holiday weekend of tree lighting ceremonies to look forward to.
In Standish, event coordinator and Director of the Standish Depot Sue Stein said the event would begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 at Lion’s Park, with Santa Claus riding in on the back of a fire truck amid the tree lighting itself.
Stein, who has been working on Standish tree lightings for 10 years, said that crowds usually begin to gather at about 6:15, and about 50-100 people have shown up in years past. Two or three trees at Lion’s Park will be decorated and lit up for the ceremony.
After the tree lighting, carolers, made up of whoever from the community wishes to join, will then make their way to the Standish Historical Depot, where refreshments and hot cocoa will be served within the holiday-decorated Depot building, and Santa will meet with area children in a decorated caboose.
“Kids just love Santa coming,” Stein said.
Stein said the trees would be decorated and lit up through the new year.
The city of Standish has been holding tree lighting ceremonies for about 30 years, according to Stein, and the Depot has participated since 2007.
The annual AuGres Chamber Tree Lighting & Parade of Lights will be held Saturday, Nov. 26 at 5:45 p.m. after a number of holiday festivities throughout the day.
At 3 p.m., free horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered at the AuGres-Sims High School courtesy of the Royal Carriage Company. Chamber of Commerce President Sandy Metzger said the rides are new this year and will last about 20 minutes, going along Michigan Avenue.
At 5:30, Metzger said caroling at the corner of US-23 and Michigan Avenue will begin, followed by the tree lighting ceremony at the same intersection.
Afterwards, the parade will move from the tree lighting to the city pavilion on North Main street, where AuGres city firefighters will be providing hot cocoa and H&H Bakery will offer donut holes.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet the crowd at the pavilion after a horse-drawn carriage takes them through the parade, and drawings will be held to provide hams and nuts for adults, and board games and video rentals for children.
Metzger said anyone interested in adding an entry for the parade can call the Chamber of Commerce at 989-876-6688.
The AuGres Chamber of Commerce is the sponsor for this year’s event.