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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Detroit gets decked out for the holidays; parades, shows, shopping, fun



   One-Tank Trip for Nov. 23/19

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Metro Detroit is getting all decked out for the holidays – and there couldn’t be a better time to visit.
   Starting with the U.S. Thanksgiving next Thursday and then less than a month until Christmas, this “come-back” metropolis is thriving.
   It’s “Go Time Detroit” as Thrillist, the online travel website, named it “one of America’s most fun cities.”
America’s Thanksgiving Parade
    Starting downtown, some attractions are the Thanksgiving Day parade, “pop-up” Christmas stores, decorated trees, special shows at the Fisher and Fox theatres and Noel Night in the Cultural Center.
   In the metro area, there’s Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village, lavish decorations at the Dearborn Inn and historic ones at auto baron homes.
   They’ve kicked off the season with the lighting of a huge Norwegian spruce wrapped in 19,000 multi-colored lights and ornaments at Campus Martius Park.

   Known as “America’s Thanksgiving Parade, this long-standing Detroit holiday tradition has colourful floats, marching bands, celebrities and gigantic character balloons that wow the crowds.
   It travels along Woodward Avenue on Nov. 28 while another tradition that day is the Detroit Lions-Chicago Bears football match-up at Ford Field.
 
Holiday Walks at Meadow Brook Hall
   Mansions aglow
   Visitors taking holiday tours of the (Edsel & Eleanor) Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores are dazzled by the spectacular historic holiday decorations from Nov. 29 to Jan. 5.
   Likewise auto-baron holiday splendor as it was along with 50 decorated trees are at Matilda Dodge Wilson’s Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills from Nov. 29 to Dec. 23.
   Completing the baron fantasy tour is the Dearborn Inn, the grand hotel Henry Ford had built in 1931 across from his airport.
The Dearborn Inn is all decorated for the season. (Barbara Fox photo)
    The National Historic Site is lavishly and tastefully decorated for the holidays and contains historic automotive photos, artifacts and furnishings.
   Part of the Marriott chain, it also has two Colonial lodges and replica houses of Barbara Fritchie, Patrick Henry, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman and Oliver Wolcott. dearborninnmarriott.com

Barbara Fritchie house at the Dearborn Inn (Jim Fox photo)
   Bright lights shining
   Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village, adjoining the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, immerses visitors in 300 years of holiday traditions.
  This lantern-lighted journey is called a “Christmas card from the past” and runs evenings throughout December.
   It includes carollers, costumed presenters, horse-drawn wagons and Model T rides, skating and Santa with live reindeer, capped off by fireworks.
   Take a spin in a vintage Ford at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. (Barbara Fox photo)
    There’s also a dinner package with a vintage feast in the Eagle Tavern, a former 1850’s stagecoach stop.
   The museum is now the home of 6,600 Hallmark ornaments from their origin in 1973. thehenryford.org
   There’s Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo with five-million lights illuminating trees and buildings and 280 sculptures until Jan. 5. detroitzoo.org

   Attention shoppers
   Canadians make a run to the border in search of “Black Friday” deals on Nov. 29 and for seasonal gifts and a low six per-cent Michigan sales tax to ease the dollar difference.
An operating vintage Italian carousel is at the food court at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. (Jim Fox photo)
    Shop ’til you drop at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets with 185 stores, the Mall at Partridge Creek, Somerset Collection, 12 Oaks and Fairlane Town Center.
   The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau has the online Canadian Guide for Detroit Shopping Malls at visitdetroit.com/shopping-detroit-guide-canadians
   There’s also the D Discount Pass offering savings of 20 per cent and more at attractions through Dec. 31.

   A Detroit original
Detroit-style pizzas were made famous by Buddy’s. (Jim Fox photo)
   Hungry shoppers can sample the 1946 Detroit original – Buddy’s Pizza – for a Sicilian square pie that’s named one of the best in the nation.
   There will be 15 locations when the second downtown Detroit Buddy’s on Broadway opens next month.
   Still made as they were 73 years ago, the pizza is handcrafted and double-stretched for a light, crunchy crust.
   Specialty pizzas include the Great Lakes, with Ontario being Motor City cheese blend, cilantro, Canadian bacon, grilled pineapple and barbecue sauce. buddyspizza.com
   For getaway information: visitdetroit.com; 1-800-DETROIT.

   -30-

   Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
   For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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