Thanksgiving traditions and COVID updates
Posted on 11/24/2021
Mayor Brian Turnbull Northvillians,                                

Focusing on remembrances, this week’s topic will center around historic Thanksgivings in the Ville. But first, let’s review some of the events that are happening in December.

• NCF Holiday Home Tour goes virtual this year. A tour of eight homes with a link that is good from Dec. 4 to Dec. 24. For more info, go online at or contact Christmas Carol at 248-347-0200.

• Christmas in the Village (Mill Race Historical Village) – Dec. 3 and 4, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, visit the website or call 248-348-1845.

• December in Downtown Northville – “A Holiday to Remember” – Friday nights will feature music in the streets, Saturday nights will offer horse and buggy rides and on Sundays, there will be live reindeer and holiday characters around town from 3 – 5 p.m.

Some quick COVID updates

• In the battle for COVID-19 treatments, several drugs have shown promise. Currently, the two oral antivirals, Molnupiravir from Merck, and Paxlovid from Pfizer, are hailed by many. There are still questions about their efficacy and safety, so the search for safe, effective treatments continues. (Medical News Today)

COVID-19 confirmed cases: Northville has had 356 cases*/8 fatalities, Township: 3,054 cases/53 fatalities, Michigan: 1.4 million cases/25,000 fatalities, Nation: 48 million cases/773,000 fatalities, Global: 258 million cases/5.2 million fatalities. ( *Wayne County data

Thanksgivings of yesteryear in the Ville

• Starting in the late 1800s, large community Thanksgiving gatherings took place at the Town’s meeting place (the Princess Rink, across from CVS on Dunlap), all for Northvillians and visitors from surrounding communities.

• Historically, ecumenical Thanksgiving Eve services were held with many of the local churches gathering together, helping to grow a holiday spirit of cooperation and support.

• According to the 152 years of postings in the Northville Record, Thanksgiving baskets and meals for those in need have always been part of the Northville holiday. Many organizations such as the Masons, Eagles, VFW, American Legion, Rotary, Woman’s Club, and the congregations, among other support groups, have continued this tradition.

• In the early 1900s, there was a great deal happening around Thanksgiving in the Ville, including the traditional Thanksgiving football game at the Athletic Park (where Northville Downs is today) and events at the library, sponsored by the Woman’s Club.

• According to the Northville Record, 1932 was an extraordinarily hard year. City Council rose to this emergency occasion and combined efforts with the American Legion, along with many other local organizations to assist those in need. Today, Civic Concern, working with many local organizations, have continued the tradition of assisting those in need during this time of thanksgiving.

I thank you for sharing your time and talents during this past year for our community and bid you a joyful family-filled holiday. I truly wish you a safe, restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend. Let’s all continue to share with those around us who are in need on a daily basis. Additionally, I encourage you to connect with those in your lives who need to hear your caring words (doesn’t matter, use phone, text or email) and wish them a joyous Thanksgiving.

Keep that Northville Thanksgiving Faith!

Brian Turnbull
Mayor – Northville
[email protected] / 248.505.6849

ThanksgivingSign, pumpkins, dinner table, fall trees

Let’s take a look at Northville’s Holiday Parade through the years. Last week, I had an opportunity to spend time at the VFW post and the American Legion where both honored our local military heroes. Images of 170 of them appear on banners throughout downtown. Additionally, I spoke with many Northvillians at Saturday’s last local car show of the season before the snow came our way. The car shows will start up again in May. A great showing of eclectic cars and a good-size crowd with many local folks attended the gathering.

Let’s review some of the holiday events that are happening in the Ville:

• Nov. 19 – Holiday Lighted Parade, this year’s theme is “Lights on Holiday Parade” 6:30 p.m. (Parade route - Cady to Rogers to Main St. to Linden to Dunlap to Wing). Tree lighting is at 8:15 p.m. in Town Square.

• Nov. 20-21 – Holiday Greens and Winter Market, 7 Mile & Center St., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• NCF Holiday Home Tour goes virtual this year. For more info, go online at or contact Christmas Carol at 248-347-0200.

• Mill Race Village presents The Festival of Trees starting Dec. 3. For more info, contact the Northville Mill Race Village at or call 248-348-1845.

Also, here are some quick COVID updates:

• Nearly all of the nation's coronavirus infections are now attributed to the Delta variant, which is a more contagious strand. Waning immunity may be contributing to a rise. An ongoing booster rollout is attempting to head off the effects of this waning immunity. (USA Today)

Consider scheduling your booster shot today!

• Hillside School teamed with Wayne County and vaccinated more than a 1,000 children at the school last Saturday.

Other news:

• The city is installing 10 new EV charging stations in downtown – the first phase was installation of new equipment at present EV locations.

• The city mourns the passing of retired Fire Chief Jim Allen who was known as “chief” for 36 of his 50 years of service to the City of Northville. During the memorial service on Saturday at the Baptist church, I noted that the Allen Family is considered royalty of Northville... our thoughts and prayers are with them.

COVID-19 confirmed cases: Northville has had 339 cases*/8 fatalities, Township: 2,895 cases/53 fatalities, Michigan: 1.4 million cases/24,000 fatalities, Nation: 47 million cases/764,000 fatalities, Global: 254 million cases/5.1 million fatalities. ( *Wayne County data

As we prepare for our annual Holiday Lighted Parade with Santa, let’s review this merry event through the years:

1976 – According to The Record, when the nation was celebrating its bicentennial (1976), Northvillians lined our downtown Streets as Santa Claus arrived and took up temporary residence at the North Pole Santa exhibit in Town Square.

1988 – The community’s traditional Santa Parade took place in all its glory, traveling down Main Street past City Hall to a throng of cheering youth. The Record stated, “Northville’s High School Band played brilliantly as ever at the festive parade, where a holiday trolley was featured, and a kaleidoscope organ played holiday favorites.”

1996 – Santa made a triumphant ride through town and was pulled by 18 live reindeer. All the merchants decorated their shops in holiday finery. The town was ready for the holidays!

1998 – This year, in addition to Santa arriving, there were holiday clowns, carriages and carolers in town. Chuck Gaidica from WDIV-TV was the master of ceremonies, live on TV.

2004 – Northville rolled out the red carpet for the holiday parade ... 35 new floats participated, along with Arabian horses and much more (reported in the Northville Record).

2013 – A record attendance crowd came to view the 47 entries on a cold, snowy night. A local resident was quoted in The Record as saying, “The parade is a reflection of the spirit of Northville,” and many stated it was their favorite parade yet in the Ville.

2019 – My first holiday parade as mayor was a festive event, with Dr. Demray’s Preservation Dental presenting their classic VW Bugs all decorated in Holiday lights. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” was the theme and the evening culminated with a tree-lighting ceremony in Town Square.

I can attest the City was abuzz while waiting Santa’s arrival, with local churches providing hot chocolate to keep us warm. I had the great honor and pleasure to present Santa with the keys to the city to make it easier for him to get back to town for Christmas deliveries. Notably, Mill Race Village put on a great display, giving us a glimpse of Christmases of yesteryear with all the buildings decorated in spectacular holiday trimmings.

I hope to see you downtown Friday night as we gather to welcome Santa and light the Christmas tree in Town Square. Come on down and enjoy the festive holiday spirit of the town we love.

Keep that Northville Holiday Faith!

Brian Turnbull
Mayor – Northville
[email protected] / 248.505.6849