Monday, December 4, 2023

Three things we’re thankful for in Livingston County this year

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LIVINGSTON COUNTY — Each year, we’re grateful for family, for friends, for food and fun. We all have individual reasons for be thankful.

But what about the Livingston County community? The good news is, we have plenty to be thankful for there, too.

Cute downtowns

Whether you enjoy a stroll across the Mill Pond in Brighton or a walk through Peanut Alley in Howell, downtown centers in Livingston County are oozing with charm.

This holiday shopping season, there are plenty of independent and family-owned boutiques and eateries to support in the both cities. New shops like Forest and Fillies, Coral Sash, Coast on Main and A Gathered Collection have opened in Brighton. New to Howell are Oh Crumbs! Bread Co., JD Sports Cards, The Garment District Resale and The Crunchy Pickle.

There are also two quaint villages in Livingston County filled with locally-owned businesses, parks, and community events. Pinckney offers donuts from Pinckney Bakery, paintball at Hell Survivors, and tickets to dinner theater at The DIO. In Fowlerville, you can grab handmade chocolates at Sweet Sensations and unique décor and clothing at White Barn Design Co. — then head to Torch 180 Café, a nonprofit restaurant and coffee shop with culinary training programs for people with disabilities.

The outdoor life

Opportunities for outdoor fun, even in the dead of winter, abound in Livingston County. There are thousands of acres of parkland between four state parks, two metro parks and several city, township, and county-owned parks across the landscape.

Wintertime recreation includes hurdling down sledding hills and toboggan runs in Kensington Metropark and miles of cross-country skiing (including the popular 1.5-mile Bucks Run Loop in the Huron Meadows Metropark).

We also have a spot to ski and snowboard right in town. Mt Brighton offers 25 trails and two terrain parks.

Plenty of festivities

Livingston County loves to celebrate. In the coming weeks, we have festivals, parades, and other events for shopping and exploration.

That includes this Friday’s Fantasy of Lights Festival in Howell, a true day-after-Thanksgiving tradition.

More: This year’s Fantasy of Lights theme is ‘Tunes and Toons’

This year’s festivities kick off at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, along State Street, including live entertainment, letter-writing to Santa Claus, children’s crafts, food trucks and reindeer. Fantasy 5K runners will leave the starting line at 6 p.m., with the big parade stepping off at 7 p.m.

Pinckney will celebrate Light Up the Park from 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, with help from Santa. Businesses and families have donated more than 40 Christmas trees.

Fowlerville will ring in the holidays at Christmas in the Ville, an all-day festival and parade Saturday, Dec. 2, with activities throughout downtown beginning at 8 a.m. and culminating with a parade and tree lighting at 6 p.m.

Contact reporter Jennifer Eberbach at 

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