CHELSEA, MI – Chelsea Area Festivals & Events (CAFE) is planning the 34th Annual Chelsea Hometown Holiday presented by Rick Taylor Real Estate – Reinhart Realtors. The City of Chelsea will be decked in holiday splendor to warm our residents’ and visitors’ hearts and put us all in the holiday spirit.  

Even the coronavirus pandemic can’t be the Grinch of the 2020 Hometown Holidays thanks to the combined efforts of Chelsea Area Festivals & Events and the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce (CACC).  This year they have reimagined events to follow safe social distancing measures.

“We are excited to have created a workable solution to continue our annual celebration of the holidays,” said CAFE President Craig Common.

CAFE is organizing a “Santa Neighborhood Drive-Thru” as an alternative to the annual Light Parade. Santa will drive through City of Chelsea neighborhoods, wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.  Spectators can wave to Santa from their homes, driveways, or parked vehicles. Times and map routes will be available at www.chelseafestivals.com after Thanksgiving.

The popular Pam Radcliff Gingerbread Workshop will be modified so that the community can pick-up gingerbread kits to make at home. In addition to a safe, drive-through distribution plan, kits will be provided to WISD Chelsea Young Adult Classroom students and delivered to residents at St. Louis Center, Silver Maples, and Chelsea Retirement Community.  The kits, made by Santa’s helpers at Lakehouse Bakery, will contain four (4) Gingerbread people and icing to decorate.

For more than three decades, a garland of community events has taken place during Hometown Holiday, traditionally held the first weekend in December.  In 2014 CAFE took Hometown Holiday under its umbrella, providing overarching event management, administrative support, and marketing services. This year, Hometown Holidays’ management is transitioning to the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional community holiday events are listed on the Chamber’s community calendar at www.chelseamich.com.

“The Chamber is delighted to retake the reins of Hometown Holiday in 2021, as it is one of the great events that help to make Chelsea the wonderful community that we know and love,” said CACC Director Terris Ahrens. This year, the Chamber has created a few new events to add to the Hometown Holiday festivities,  including a “Holiday Light Pole Decorating Contest”, a “Holiday Homes Contest”, and a “Festival of Trees.”  Event details can be found at www.chelseamich.com

Additional Hometown Holiday community events include A Very Merry Nutcracker full-length film by Ballet Chelsea. This project was aided by a $1,000 CAFE Grants for the Arts. While performing arts spaces and theaters remain closed, Ballet Chelsea’s new film production of the Nutcracker will spread holiday cheer via a drive-in movie at the Chelsea Fairgrounds on December 4 & 5. Tickets on sale at balletchelsea.org.

Chelsea is a resilient close-knit community that will work through COVID-19 challenges. CAFE continues to remain steadfast in its mission to promote quality performing and visual arts throughout the year. CAFE President Craig Common commented, “As we look to the future, we continue to imagine what comes next and are looking forward to the opportunity to bring quality music and visual arts safely back to the streets of Chelsea. We are excited about moving forward with ScultpureWalk and the 2021 Sounds and Sights concert series. CAFE sincerely appreciates everyone’s contribution, passion, and support – all things that make Chelsea an exceptional place to live, visit, and work.”

It is through the generous support of sponsors that Hometown Holiday takes place year after year. Presenting Sponsor: Rick Taylor Real Estate – Reinhart Realtors. Gold Bell Sponsor: Chelsea Retirement Community. Silver Bell Sponsor: Bill Ballagh State Farm Insurance.  Bronze Bell Sponsors: Chelsea State Bank, Hardwood Solutions Inc., Liberty Title Chelsea, Mykala Mortgage Planning – Dart Bank, Rick Eder – Farm Bureau Insurance, Second to None, Secret Crisis Comics, Underwriter: Chelsea Community Foundation.  

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Chelsea Area Festivals and Events (CAFE) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that coordinates “SculptureWalk Chelsea,” “Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights,” “Sounds and Sights Festival,” and “Hometown Holidays.” Their mission is to enrich Chelsea and the surrounding communities, by promoting the presentation of and participation in quality performing and visual arts.