The leaves are only now changing color, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about holiday festivities. Downtown Royal Oak will be brimming with holiday merriment during the Royal Oak Jingle, www.rojingle.com, hosted by the Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority on Saturday, Dec. 14, and Sunday, Dec. 15.
Planned festivities include the Cookie Crawl, Lighted Holiday Parade, Holiday Marketplace and photos with Santa Claus. Sponsorship opportunities are currently available for the Royal Oak Jingle and applications to create floats with lighted elements and walk in the parade are open to businesses and the public.
“The holiday festivities continue to get bigger and brighter in downtown Royal Oak,” said Jay Dunstan, Royal Oak DDA chair. “On behalf of the city of Royal Oak, I invite everyone to join us in celebrating the holidays at the Royal Oak Jingle. This is a wonderful community event with lots of holiday cheer — from our lighted parade and holiday marketplace to a visit from Santa Claus and the old-fashioned Cookie Crawl.
“When local bakeries and restaurants are creating beautiful holiday cookies for no other reason than to enjoy the spirit of the season, plus all the other elements of this fantastic event, it’s a perfect time to connect with new and old friends in the heart of the city.”
Cookie Crawl: 1-6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14
Families and friends who take part in the Cookie Crawl will check in under a heated tent in a soon-to-be-announced downtown area. They will receive a keepsake tin, a map of Cookie Crawl pickup locations and a punch card. The Cookie Crawl includes stops at participating local retailers in downtown Royal Oak, where patrons will delight in receiving cookies freshly baked by local bakeries for their holiday cookie collection.
“Last year, we had more fun than imagined, passing out 500 tins of cookies throughout downtown Royal Oak,” said Sean Kammer, Downtown manager, Royal Oak DDA. “The cookies range from traditional flavors to more unique spins of holiday baking, as of course, Royal Oak bakeries are some of the most creative around. We really look forward to this cheerful, colorful, holiday event.”
Participants must check in by 4:30 p.m. and allow up to 90 minutes or more to complete the crawl. Tickets for the Cookie Crawl are $25 and include a Royal Oak Jingle commemorative cookie tin that will accommodate 24 cookies and can be purchased online at www.rojingle.com.
Lighted Holiday Parade: 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14
Downtown Royal Oak will be radiant with the kickoff of the Lighted Holiday Parade on Main Street beginning at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14. The parade will feature floats, musicians and local groups, all with lighted elements, as they travel along Main Street to the cheers of crowds on the sidewalks. Event producer 360 Event Productions is working with The Parade Company to feature several of their floats in the parade line-up.
Area businesses, local residents and groups are invited to apply to participate in the Lighted Holiday Parade by going online at www.rojingle.com. All parade participants are required to have a lighted element, whether it is incorporated into a float or what they wear as they walk down Main Street.
Tree Lighting: Saturday, Dec. 14
The Royal Oak Tree Lighting will be held at the conclusion of the Lighted Holiday Parade. Following a jubilant countdown from Royal Oak residents and visitors, the mayor will light the decorated tree.
Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus: Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15
The community is invited to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy free photos on Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sun. Dec. 15. Celebrants can see reindeer and take horse and carriage rides in downtown Royal Oak. Times for free holiday photos with Santa as well as horse and carriage rides will be announced closer to the holiday festivities.
Holiday Marketplace: Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15
Holiday revelers are invited to partake in the Holiday Marketplace in a heated tent where there will be live music, hand-crafted merchandise available to purchase gifts, a cocktail bar and cocoa for the young and young-at-heart. The Holiday Marketplace will be open Saturday, Dec. 14, from noon until 11 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 15, from noon until 5 p.m. For those interested in being a merchant at the Holiday Marketplace, please visit www.rojingle.com.