New holiday decorations to debut on Mack in Grosse Pointe Woods

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 12, 2022

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Snowflakes will be here soon.

No, not necessarily the fluffy white precipitation that falls from the sky. These snowflakes are decorative accents, and they’re coming to Grosse Pointe Woods’ Mack Avenue business district, The Avenue in the Woods.

Mary Aubrey-Rogers, founder of The Avenue in the Woods, said the business association recently decorated the area with haystacks and scarecrows for fall, and in time for the holidays, member businesses will get decorative snowflakes for their buildings or front windows.

Aubrey-Rogers, a real estate agent in the Grosse Pointes whose office is in Grosse Pointe Farms, is a Grosse Pointe Woods resident. Last year, she said about 80 Woods businesses had the snowflakes. This year, she said The Avenue in the Woods is up to about 90 members, so visitors likely will be seeing even more snowflakes this year.

In keeping with that seasonal theme, Aubrey-Rogers said the business association was asking the city to add a few lit snowflakes to utility poles this year.

“These are great,” Aubrey-Rogers said of the utility pole snowflakes. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, and they can be found in other cities, including St. Clair Shores.

“The Avenue in the Woods approached us about trying to modernize some of our holiday decorations,” Woods Public Services Director James Kowalski told the City Council during a Committee of the Whole meeting Sept. 12.

Traditionally, Kowalski said, the city’s decorations in the business district have included “big red bows,” garland and lights on utility poles.

“I think the decorations you do right now are absolutely gorgeous,” City Councilman Thomas Vaughn said.

Even so, other officials wanted to see how the utility pole snowflakes might look in the Woods. Mayor Arthur Bryant said he wanted to try adding them.

“I think they’re nice,” Bryant said.

City Administrator Frank Schulte suggested purchasing a couple of different styles of the utility pole snowflakes, so officials could evaluate them this season and determine which one they like better. The city might buy additional snowflakes for future holiday seasons, if these turn out to be a hit with residents and visitors.

“It kind of helps support the commercial district, keeping things nice,” Bryant said.

Unlike more Christmassy décor, the snowflakes can be displayed even after Jan. 1 rolls around.

“We can leave these snowflakes up longer, until the end of March,” Schulte said.

As part of its consent agenda, the City Council voted unanimously Sept. 19 in favor of purchasing four utility pole snowflakes this year. The council agreed to a low bid from Evangeline Specialties and Esco Signs for two 3-foot teardrop snowflakes and two 4.5-foot starburst snowflakes, at a total cost of $1,934.06. Two of the snowflakes will be installed on the ornamental light poles at Mack Avenue and Vernier Road, while the other two will be installed in front of Robert E. Novitke Municipal Center, Kowalski said.