Free weekend parking in lots to again be offered in Village during holidays

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 8, 2023

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — ’Tis the season to be shopping. And to encourage residents to support their neighborhood businesses, Grosse Pointe City and The Village Downtown Development Authority/Main Street Grosse Pointe are again working together to offer free parking in surface lots on weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For the last 12 years, the City has offered free lot parking, and The Village DDA — now Main Street Grosse Pointe — has been covering half of the cost of lost parking revenue since 2013.

“It’s a way to kind of spur shoppers to come on down … and encourage people to come and spend their time and their money in The Village,” Main Street Grosse Pointe Executive Director Cindy Willcock said.

During a meeting Oct. 16, Grosse Pointe City Councilman Christopher Walsh called the program “super” and made a motion to approve the waiver of parking fees in the lots. The motion passed unanimously.

Free parking in Village lots will be offered Nov. 25 and 26, Dec. 2 and 3, Dec. 9 and 10, Dec. 16 and 17, and Dec. 23 and 24. In addition, visitors can park in the lots at no cost on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, which is also the day of the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce’s Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade, which traditionally starts on the Hill in Grosse Pointe Farms and ends in The Village. Free parking on the day after Thanksgiving — aka Black Friday — was added last year.

Officials say the final cost to the City in lost parking revenue is estimated at about $5,000. Main Street Grosse Pointe provides its half of the revenue —$5,000 — as part of its marketing budget.

“We’re looking forward to a robust holiday season in The Village,” Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak said.

“So are we,” Willcock replied.

Free weekend parking doesn’t apply to The Village parking structure — although parking in the structure is free on Sundays, and shoppers can get three hours of free parking with validation by Trader Joe’s or one hour of free parking with validation from Pet Supplies Plus Mondays through Saturdays. Free parking also doesn’t apply to on-street parking spots. For more information about special events and holiday parking, visit The Village’s Facebook page at The Village, Downtown Grosse Pointe.