Jingle Journey takes over Mount Clemens Dec. 8

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published November 20, 2019

 Children visit with Santa Claus at a past Mount Clemens Jingle Journey. This year’s event will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 8.

Children visit with Santa Claus at a past Mount Clemens Jingle Journey. This year’s event will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 8.

Photo provided by Kim Parr

MOUNT CLEMENS — Take a holiday trip through Mount Clemens Dec. 8 with the 17th annual Jingle Journey.  

The journey will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Locations across the city taking part in the jingle are the Anton Art Center, the Crocker House Museum, the Emerald Theatre, the Gratiot Valley Model Rail Road Club and the Michigan Transit Museum.

“It’s changed names over the years and has morphed into way more than what we initially did,” said Kim Parr, director of the Crocker House Museum and the Macomb County Historical Society. “There’s more sites. It used to be just the Anton Art Center and us.”

This year, the jingle is expanding to five local spots rich with history and a variety of activities, like drop-in make-and-take holiday crafts at the Anton Art Center, take-your-own photos with Santa, meeting the Christkind Angel, caroling at the old pump organ, popcorn roasted over an outdoor fire, coloring, cookies, and silent Christmas film screenings at the Crocker House Museum, which costs $4 for adults and $2 for children.

“It’s a journey to the cultural sites in town, and we offer transportation,” Parr said. “You can park at whatever site you want and hop on the bus instead of getting in your own car.”

A “Polar Express” experience with storytelling, a personalized ticket, hot chocolate and cookies will be held at the Michigan Transit Museum.

“A Miracle on 34th Street” screening will take place at 4 p.m. at the Emerald Theatre and costs $5 for adults, and kids 12 and younger are admitted for free. This is the first year the Emerald Theatre is participating in the journey.  

“A lot of adults want the next generation to see ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’” Parr said. “It’s a film we grew up with and has become a tradition for a lot of people to watch that around Christmastime.”

Attendees can see the operating HO scale 40-by-40-foot model train layout at no cost and enter to win their own HO operating train set at the Gratiot Valley Model Rail Road Club.

“It’s fictional in nature, but depicts a model railroad,” said Doug Kass, a club member. “Last year, around 80 people came through. The response we got from Jingle Journey was overwhelming.”   

The club, founded in 1972, is raffling off a starter train set, a $200 value, for children 12 and younger.

Two shuttle buses will provide transportation between sites. Guests may also grab a map at any of the locations and journey on their own.

“This started as us trying to connect the heritage sites in town to bring attention to our community,” Parr said. “There’s things to do right here; you don’t need to drive miles and miles to have a fun Christmas experience.”

In past years, the event was  held from 1 to 4 p.m. Hours were extended this year.

“We wanted to give people more time to get around to see all the sites,” Parr said.

She added that the event is popular among grandparents who bring their grandchildren.

With several other Christmas-related events in Mount Clemens over the next month, from the Santa Parade Nov. 23 to the Tinsel Tour, which runs until Jan. 1, Parr said the Jingle Journey stands out because it adds historical and cultural elements.

The Crocker House Museum is located at 15 Union St., the Anton Art Center is at 125 Macomb Place, the Emerald Theatre is at 31 N. Walnut St., the Michigan Transit Museum is at 200 Grand Ave., and the Gratiot Valley Model Rail Road Club is located at 281 North Ave.