Christmas in St. Clair County: Holiday markets, visits from Santa, arts and crafts, and more

The holiday season is upon us and with it comes all the excitement of Christmas. There is no shortage of family-friendly events happening in St. Clair County this year.

In Port Huron, the Parks and Recreation Department is putting on Winter Celebration in Pine Grove Park, running now through Sunday, Jan. 2.

“You can walk or drive in the park to see all the winter-themed light displays put together by 35 of the local businesses,” says Kati Gardner, the department’s recreation supervisor. “This is the second year Pine Grove Park is having this event. Because of such a large response we had last year, it has now become an annual event.”

Lights are on timers from 5 to 10 p.m. and there will be many photo opportunities, including a Christmas frame for family pictures. The event is free and open to the public.

Other events in Port Huron take place downtown as the Small Business Saturday event has been extended to run all month long.

“We wanted to make shopping for the holidays fun,” says Cynthia Cutright, special projects coordinator for the City of Port Huron. “This next Saturday, Dec. 11, downtown businesses will be offering hot cocoa stations for free, so you can grab a hot cocoa and warm up while getting your Christmas shopping done. The following Saturday is Tacky Sweater Day, for patrons to show off Christmas sweaters they may have gotten over the years.”

[Read more about downtown Port Huron’s plans to get more shoppers to shop local this holiday season, “Small Business Saturdays, Giving Tuesday, and a wealth of holiday fun planned for the Thumb Coast,” in The Keel.]

Foundry, located at 1219 Military St. in Port Huron, will be having a “Winter Wonderland” scavenger hunt and crafts event, running from Friday, Dec. 10, through Sunday, Dec. 12. The event is sponsored by Hallway Entertainment and Wonderwolf Entertainment.

“There will be cookie decorating, ornament painting, and a dedicated elf that will be your guide for the scavenger hunt,” says Valerie Kelley from Hallway Entertainment.

In St. Clair, local businesses will have plenty of holiday spirit with different happenings all over town, including the Christmas Market at Riverview Plaza. (Photo: Andrea Harrington)In St. Clair, local businesses will have plenty of holiday spirit with different happenings all over town. Riverview Plaza will be hosting St. Clair’s Christmas Market from Friday, Dec. 10, through Sunday, Dec. 12. Tickets for a Christmas raffle will be on sale at War Water Brewery. And multiple establishments will be offering discounts and specials, including the Anchor Point Bistro, Drifter’s Restaurant & Lounge, Mannina’s Wine House, and War Water Brewery.

“There will be multiple vendors and crafters for you to purchase unique holiday gifts for family and friends. Santa Claus will be making a visit to War Water Brewery this Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., so kids will have the chance to tell him what’s on their Christmas list,” says Bryan Ulatowski, president of the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce. Santa will also make appearances on Sunday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at Mannina’s Wine House and back to War Water Brewery from noon to 3 p.m.

This Sunday, Dec. 12, kids aged 5- to 11-years-old can make chocolate marshmallow reindeer pops at Fondant Grove Bakery. (Photo: Andrea Harrington)Fondant Grove Bakery, located inside of Blackbird Home Goods in the Riverview Plaza, will be holding do-it-yourself classes for children. This Sunday, Dec. 12, kids aged 5- to 11-years-old can make chocolate marshmallow reindeer pops.

“I wanted to test it out and see if there is any interest for these classes in the community — turns out that there is quite a bit,” says Renee McCormick, owner of Fondant Grove. “I want kids to learn about baking but enjoy what they are making, also.”

Read more articles by Andrea Harrington.

Andrea Harrington has been a freelance writer for The Keel for many years and enjoys telling stories about the people and communities across the Blue Water Area. In addition to her work with The Keel, she also substitute teaches for East China and Algonac School Districts and offers creative marketing content working one-on-one with local businesses. She loves everything fall-related and in her free time, is an avid watcher of horror movies and enjoys spending time with her husband and Italian greyhound, Marchello. Contact Andrea at