Bronner’s: 8 Things You May Not Know About the World’s Largest Christmas Store
Frankenmuth, Michigan is just one of those places people love to visit. If you happen to be entertaining family and friends from out of town, especially this holiday season, you definitely want to add it to the list of things to do. From those iconic chicken dinners, to the charming downtown, Frankenmuth has it all, but the highlight for most is a trip to Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland.
The pride of Frankenmuth, and pretty much the state, is the largest Christmas store in the world, Bronner's. Embracing the title with pride, the store is a major tourist attraction, and for many families throughout the state, a family holiday tradition.
Bronner's, open 361 days a year, the passionate brainchild of Wally Bronner, is truly something special, and although most know it for its holiday magic, there may be a few cool facts you don't know.
The Largest Christmas Store in the World by Far
Wally Bronner opened Bronner's back in 1945. There were three original salesrooms; the Main Salesroom (1954), Tannenbaum Shop (1966), and Bavarian Corner (1971). They consolidated when the current building opened in 1977. Bronner's showroom today covers 2.2 acres, which equals 1.7 football fields. The artistic and festive grounds cover 27 acres, with additional building space covering 7.35 acres.
How Many People Visit Bronner's Every Year?
It's one of those places you will see people in the holiday mood even in July. According to their website, over 2 million guests visit annually from throughout the world, including 2,000 motorcoach groups. It's no surprise though that the weekend after Thanksgiving is Bronner's busiest. They traditionally see about 50,000 guests during that time.
Each Decorated tree contains a Nativity Ornament
The showroom at Bronner's features more than 300 decorated trees. Although trees are done in a variety of themes, colors, and nationalities, one thing is constant on each tree. As a nod to the Bronner family's strong Christian faith, there is a Nativity represented on every tree.
It Costs Thousands to Keep Christmas Going All Year Long
Lights, lights, and more lights. Bronner's features 100,000 lights along their ½-mile-long Christmas Lane that are lit every evening from dusk until midnight in addition to all the tree and decoration lights inside the building. So how much does it cost to keep all those lights on each day? The electrical bill for Bronner's averages about $1250 PER DAY. Yikes.
You Can Make it Your Own
Although there is no shortage of ornaments to choose from, around 8000 different styles, throughout Bronner's, sometimes you want to make it your own. Whether it's a name or date, personalized ornaments are a big deal at Bronner's, so much so that the staff personalizes 400,000 ornaments annually. If you're sticking with just the traditional "Merry Christmas" ornaments, Bronner's offers it in more than 40 languages.
How Tall Are the Bronner's Santa Clauses?
They greet you as to say, "Welcome to one the most magical places in the world". Standing tall outside of Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland are three Santas and a snowman. Each Santa stand 17 feet tall, with the snowman measuring 15 feet tall.
Bronner’s Has its Own Chapel
Bronner's has a very special motto, "Enjoy CHRISTmas, it's HIS Birthday; Enjoy LIFE, it's HIS Way". To celebrate the reason for the season, Bronner's erected a replica of the Oberndorf (Salzburg), Austria, Silent Night Memorial Chapel in tribute to the Christmas hymn "Silent Night" and in thankfulness to God. The chapel was built in 1992 with permission from Austria. You will find it just a few steps away from the entrance to the Bronner's store.
Why Bronner's Has The "CHRIST" in Christmas
Many wonder why Bronner's spells Christmas the way they do, and it all goes back to the man that started it all, Wally Bronner. It is said that Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland was the outer focus of Wally's life, but Christ was the inner one. Just days before he passed away in 2008, on Good Friday, he wrote these words:
"Today's Good Friday was an especially GOOD FRIDAY when our dear family in prayer agreed to the reality that our loving Lord and Savior – the CHRIST of CHRISTmas – is ready to receive me into his heavenly kingdom where all believers in the Creator God will be with him FOREVER AND EVER … NOTHING COULD BE GREATER!"
Find time this season to enjoy this wonderful Michigan treasure that is Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland. Merry Christmas to all!
For more interesting Bronner's facts click here.