Royal Oak City Clerk Melanie Halas, right, shows members of the Ezra Parker chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution how to register people to vote Nov. 17. Joyce Barnett, left, and Cathy Compton, center, will register voters and provide genealogical advice at the library Dec. 2 and 3.

Royal Oak City Clerk Melanie Halas, right, shows members of the Ezra Parker chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution how to register people to vote Nov. 17. Joyce Barnett, left, and Cathy Compton, center, will register voters and provide genealogical advice at the library Dec. 2 and 3.

Photo provided by Sharlan Douglas


Royal Oak to host grand centennial celebration and winter wonderland

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published November 24, 2021

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ROYAL OAK — From 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3, the city of Royal Oak is throwing itself and all of its residents a big 100th birthday bash.

The two-day event, called Downtown Winter Wonderland, bills itself as “the celebration of the century” and will include a tree-lighting ceremony at the 44th District Court; a dedication of Centennial Commons, the new downtown park; and activities at Royal Oak City Hall, the Police Department, the library, the farmers market and the Henry Ford Health System medical outpatient center.

“We’ll be focusing on what life was like in the roaring twenties in Royal Oak against the backdrop of brand new municipal buildings and a gorgeous downtown park,” the city website states. “We hope to incorporate the best of our past with the best of our present to give us all hope for the future!”

The 44th District Court will host a tree-lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2, and live musicians will perform on the courthouse steps.

The farmers market, which was built in 1925, will offer its annual Holiday Magic Craft Show, entertainment from the Jazz Age, food trucks on the south side, and s’mores and chestnut roasting stations on the west porch.

At City Hall, the public can watch Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 film “The Kid”; peruse a history exhibit; and see the Royal Oak clay mosaic mural and meet its creators, artists Laurie Eisenhardt and Marcia Hovland.

At the library, families can make vintage buttons, learn about the history of Royal Oak, check out the new renovations, and register to vote. From 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3, volunteers from the Ezra Parker and Three Flags chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution will register people to vote and provide genealogy advice at the library.

“Patriotism and historical preservation are two of the DAR’s fundamental principles,” Ezra Parker Regent Heather Curtis said in a prepared statement. “Voting is the perfect expression of patriotism. And we think learning Royal Oak’s history will inspire people to explore their own.”

The Police Department will host a holiday workshop for kids and photos with Santa, and the public is invited to tour the new station and make cards for seniors, hospital patients, military personnel or anyone else who could use some cheer.

Centennial Commons will open for the first time to the public with a dedication ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3; walking tours; and the opportunity to meet actors portraying historical figures from the city’s past, including first mayor George Dondero.

The Henry Ford Health System medical outpatient center will also offer tours of the brand-new, six-story facility.

Outdoor vendors will set up shop, strolling carolers will serenade attendees, horse-drawn trolley rides will be available from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3, and the city will offer giveaways and more.

Organizers estimate that approximately 1,000 people will attend the event each day.

“We’re just super excited. We’ll have some special lighting at the park for those days. It’s going to be great,” Royal Oak Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids said. “We’re hoping a lot of people show up and see how really, really remarkable all our new facilities are and just relax.”

Royal Oak City Hall is located at 203 S. Troy St., south of 11 Mile Road.

For more information about the schedule of events, visit romi.gov or call Royal Oak City Hall at (248) 246-3000.

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