Downriver communities are preparing to welcome children and adults at holiday events and attractions beginning this weekend at Santa’s Magic Forest in Taylor, and Fantasyland,in Lincoln Park.
Santa will arrive at the Heritage Park, Activities Building, 12111 Pardee, in Taylor, at noon Nov. 29 for a parade and a welcome by the city’s mayor, Rick Sollars.
The display will feature a winter wonderland of animated characters and Christmas scenes and sparkling light displays.
The Magic Forest will be open weekends from 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays; 1 to 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 to 7 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 21.
Admission will cost $3, with no charge for children under 3 years old. Photo opportunities with Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be available for $7. Magic Forest proceeds will benefit the Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry, which serves the needy in Taylor and surrounding communities.
Lincoln Park’s Fantasyland will celebrate its 50th anniversary Nov. 30 through Dec. 24 with a multitude of favorite and new holiday displays presided over by Santa Claus, and, occasionally, Mrs. Claus.
The display is located in the band shell at London and Ferris streets. Hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 2 to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, except on the final day of the display, when it will close at 2 p.m.
Admission will cost $1. A photographer will be available to snap photos at a cost of $3 for one, or $5 for two. For additional information, call 313-386-0140.
Thanksgiving step-off is 8:50
The 88th annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade promises to be the best ever with American Ice Dancing Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White serving as co-grand marshals of the procession.
The parade, presented by Art Van Furniture and the Parade Company, will start at exactly 8:50 a.m. Nov. 27 at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Kirby, adjacent to the Detroit Institute of Arts.
A limited number of grandstand tickets are available for purchase starting at $40. For more information, go to www.theparade.org or follow the Parade Company on Facebook or Twitter.
The procession, recognized as one of the best Thanksgiving parades in the country by U.S. News & World Report Travel, also will feature the first-ever Motown Museum float, a replica of the famous Motown Museum house.
Other celebrities who will participate in the procession include Detroit native Big Sean, Vanilla Ice, home designer Hilary Farr of HGTV, mascots of the Detroit Pistons, Tigers and Lions, and, of course, Santa Claus.
In addition, the Big Head Corps, with its collection of nearly 300 papier-mache heads, will take part, too, along with the Distinguished Clown Corps of more than 180 corporate and community leaders.
Victorian teas are planned
Registrations for Victorian Christmas teas, complete with soup, scones and desserts, are being accepted at the Trenton Cultural Center, 2427 West Road, and at 734-675-7300.
The teas are scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 and 18. The cost is $15 per person.
Save the date . . .
Dec. 7 — Annual Christmas luncheon of the Downriver Council for the Arts, 1 p.m. at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts & Culture, 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte; Mark McPherson will perform “Meet Mr. Dickens,” which tells the story of how Charles Dickens was inspired to write “A Christmas Story”; tickets, $25, are available by calling the DCA at 734-720-0671.
Dec. 10-Jan. 4 — Play, “Wicked,” winner of more than 50 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards; the untold story of the witches of Oz; tickets, starting at $49, are available at all Ticketmaster locations, 800-982-2787; online at www.ticketmaster.com/wicked or www.broadwayindetroit.com; for information on an open-captioned performance for the hearing-impaired, call 313-872-1000. Ext. 0.
Nov. 30 — Casting call until 11:59 p.m. for acrobats, gymnasts, musicians, dancers, singers and others with special talents to take part in the “Detroit’s Got Cirque Dreams Talent” contest; the winner will be featured in “Cirque Dreams Holidaze” at the Fox Theatre Dec. 16 to 20 in a custom-designed costume; for complete contest rules, go to www.olympiaentertainment.com/dreams.