What Michigan town do you feel deserves the title of “Most Festive”? Many feel their hometown is…others have their personal favorite.

Should it be the town of Christmas?
Or even Climax?
Maybe, if one of those suits your fancy.
But the one that tops the lists on many, many web sites is Frankenmuth. No big surprise there, as Bronner’s – “The World’s Largest Christmas Store” – is open all year around. Plus, the aptly-named nicknamed “Michigan’s Little Bavaria” is a big plus, too.

The town is lined with gift shops that are packed every holiday season (and in the summertime, too). Every November and December, horse-drawn carriages permeate the streets, the sound of jingle bells come from everywhere, the sounds of a forty-foot singing Christmas tree, and over 150 trees lit with multi-colored bulbs.

So what was the genesis of Frankenmuth?

The town was settled in 1845 by Reverend August Craemer, a Lutheran minister, and a little group of German settlers. Their purpose? To bring religion to the “uncivilized” Native Americans. The town – although not yet official – kept growing and a township was organized in 1854. Even so, the town did not become official until 1904. And the tourist/holiday destination - as we now know it - didn’t come about until 1959. When I-75 expanded and entered Michigan, more and more vacationers – up to thousands of ‘em – drove by and through Frankenmuth every week, month, and year.

But why the Christmas identification?

In 1945, Wallace John Bronner began a small painting business in his parents’ basement. He was always a big fan and believer in Christmas, and in 1954, he and his wife Irene had their own store built at 121 E. Tuscola Street by his father’s construction company. Over the years expansions were necessary, and the need to consolidate his business with his others (Tannenbaum Shop and Bavarian Corner) led to a larger home of operation, and all his shops found their way all under one roof, now located at 25 Christmas Lane…and that’s where it has been ever since 1977, with more and more new items every year.

Spreading Christmas cheer ALL year ‘round – not just at the end of the year – is what makes Frankenmuth Michigan’s ‘most festive’ town.

Frankenmuth: Michigan's Most Festive Town


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