Au Gres, Standish prepare for Christmas festivities
ARENAC COUNTY — Local communities are gearing up for their annual holiday events following Thanksgiving, as both Au Gres and Standish have planned activities for parents and children.
Standish will have its annual Christmas tree lighting and Santa visit on Friday, Nov. 23. Festivities will kick off at approximately 6:15 p.m. when Santa Claus arrives at Lion’s Park on Cedar Street and Grove Street by fire truck.
After lighting up the Christmas tree there, Santa will lead carolers down Cedar Street to the Standish Historical Depot, where he will greet kids in the old 1929 caboose car. Hot chocolate will be served inside the depot.
Au Gres will have its Christmas festivities the following day, Nov. 24. According to Au Gres Chamber of Commerce President Sandy Metzger, events will start at 3 p.m. with horse-drawn carriage rides leaving from the parking lot at Au Gres-Sims School.
“It’s the second year for the horse-drawn carriage rides,” Metzger said. “Last year the Chamber of Commerce sponsored it, but this year it’s the city. The rides are free.”
Metzger said she was looking into serving hot chocolate and coffee in the school’s multipurpose room alongside some holiday cartoons and movies for people waiting to ride, but is still awaiting approval from the school.
The rides will continue until about 5:30 p.m., Metzger said, with caroling starting at about 5:45 p.m. near the Northern Dollar Store at Michigan Ave. and US-23. At 6 p.m. the tree lighting will take place, followed by the holiday Parade of Lights at 6:15 p.m. leaving the Michigan Ave. and US-23 corner.
The parade goes through town to the Au Gres pavilion, where kids will get to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Au Gres-Sims-Whitney Fire Department will be there serving hot chocolate and donut holes, courtesy of H & H Bakery and the Au Gres Chamber of Commerce.
Metzger said anyone interested in adding a float, decorating a golf cart, or otherwise participating in the holiday parade can contact the chamber at 989-876-6688.