The History Of "Holiday Walk"

Though the College & Cultural Campus had been growing for two decades, it wasn’t until 1984 that the organizations came together to address the winter holidays as one cohesive celebration. Prior to this, the Whiting had been regularly celebrating “Christmas at the Whiting” since 1966 and Longway Planetarium had only just begun its annual showing of “The Christmas Story” in 1983.

On December 10, 1984, the Cultural Center held its first “Catch the Spirit of the Holidays” event, sponsored by Citizens Bank. Nearly each organization took part: DeWaters Art Institute (Flint Institute of Arts), Dort Music Center (Flint Institute of Music), Flint Public Library, Longway Planetarium, Sloan Museum, Whiting Auditorium, and Sarvis Center. Santa Claus arrived in the newly restored 1908 Buick Model D, circling the campus before meeting with children at the Sarvis Center. Carolers from the McCree Theatre Community Choir provided unforgettable performances of classic Christmas songs.

Whaley Historic House Museum, Bower Theatre (Flint Youth Theatre), and WFBE radio station joined the event in 1985, and for its third year in 1986 the name “Holiday Walk” was formally adopted.

Today, more than 30 years later, the Flint Cultural Center Holiday Walk remains a free public event for the Flint community. Guests are welcome to enjoy crafts at the various locations, caroling and theatrical performances, visits with Santa, and open admission to the museums.