Bronner's Christmas Wonderland

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Sign at the entrance to Christmas Lane.

Bronner's Christmas Wonderland (stylized Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland) is a retail store in Frankenmuth, Michigan that promotes itself as the "World's Largest Christmas Store".[1]

Designed with an Alpine architecture (see chalet) and operating year-round, the building is 7.35 acres (29,700 m²) in size with landscaped grounds covering 27 acres (109,000 m²).[citation needed] Outside the entrance are three 17-foot (5 m) tall outdoor Santas and a 15-foot (5 m) tall snowman.[citation needed] Inside, there are approximately 800 animated figurines at various locations throughout the store.[citation needed] Bronner's parking lot can accommodate up to 1,080 cars and 50 buses. Some 100,000 lights illuminate Bronner's half-mile (800 m) long Christmas Lane in the evening.[citation needed] Michigan designated Bronner's as an "Embassy for Michigan Tourism" in 1976.[citation needed] Bronner's employs over 500 people during the holiday season (between October and Christmas).[citation needed]

The West Entrance to Bronner's Christmas Wonderland.

Founded in 1945 by Wally Bronner, Bronner's Christmas Wonderland is visited annually by over two million people,[citation needed] with the weekend after Thanksgiving being the busiest of the year with over 50,000 visitors.[citation needed] Its inventory exceeds 50,000 trims and gifts,[citation needed] including Christmas ornaments, artificial Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Nativity scenes, Christmas decorations, collectibles, and similar goods.[citation needed] Each year, approximately 600,000 glass ornaments, 530,000 feet (161,000 m) of garland, 150,000 postcards and 86,000 light sets (nearly 530 miles (850 km) of light cords) are sold.[citation needed] Bronner's has the exclusive right to sell Precious Moments Christmas-themed figurines.

With the government of Austria's permission and in keeping with the German theme of Frankenmuth itself, Bronner's built a replica of the Oberndorf, Austria, Silent Night Memorial Chapel in 1992 as a tribute to the Christmas hymn "Silent Night".[citation needed]

Wally Bronner died April 1, 2008 at age 81.[2]

Bronner's was vandalized on Christmas Day in 2010, with some 75 store displays damaged or destroyed. Five men pleaded guilty to the crime, which involved an estimated $40,000 in damage.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bronner's Official Website
  2. ^ Staff and Wire Reports (2008-04-02). "Frankenmuth's Christmas king Bronner dies at 81". The Detroit News. MediaNews Group. Retrieved 2008-04-02. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Hoag, Andy (March 31, 2011). "4 of 5 Bronner's vandals to spend summer in jail". MLive.com. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°18′50″N 83°44′13″W / 43.31389°N 83.73694°W / 43.31389; -83.73694