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Palmer Park plans winter wonderland at upcoming WinterFest and Doggie Fashion Parade


If you’re looking for some winter magic check out Palmer Park’s 5th Annual WinterFest and Doggie Fashion Parade on Sunday, January 31.

Want cold-weather fun? It’s there.

Want nostalgic horse and carriage rides? They’re there.

Want to see an array of fashionably-attired dogs? They’re there.

Want to ice skate, cross country ski or snow shoe? Yup, that’s there, too.


It all happens from 1-4 pm on the south side of the park adjacent to Merrill Plaisance, which is located just north of McNichols (Six Mile Road) and just west of Woodward Ave. in Detroit. Follow the signs to free parking. 

At 3:00 pm you can enjoy the Doggie Fashion Parade. This is not to be missed. Where else can you watch dogs and cute kids strut their stuff? The kids will be dressed in doggie masks, and the dogs will be wrapped in scarves, cloaks, hats, sunglasses and all manner of zany attire as they parade around Lake Francis. There will be prizes and treats for all pets. Kids can make dog masks, ears and tails to wear in the pet parade during the festival.


You can also watch young talent from Project DayDream perform.

Here are some quick details about all the things you can do at the WinterFest and Doggie Fashion Parade: 

  • Cross country skiing, snow shoeing, ice skating: Guides lead hikers, cross-country skiers and snow shoers through the trails to a warming bonfire. Bring your own equipment and warm socks. You can also skate on Lake Frances. Can’t skate? Need encouragement? Volunteer skaters will be on hand to help.
  • Pet food collection: Please bring unopened, unexpired dog, cat, puppy or kitty food to donate to Paws in the D for area pet shelters. Food must be in its original package or container to be accepted.
  • Food:  Check out the soup, hot cocoa, hot coffee and yummy snacks from  Good Cakes & Bakes, Detroit BOLD Coffee and Mystic Kettle Gourmet Popcorn.
  • Horse & Carriage Rides: Pinecrest Percherons and Carriage Service will provide old-fashioned horse and carriage rides for a small donation to PFPP of $5 per adult, $2 per child. Friends from the Detroit Mounted Police Dept., which is located in Palmer Park, have been invited to the party.
  • Pet Parade: The parade is supported by the Michigan Humane Society and sponsors Canine to Five, Premier Pet Supplies, Cass Corridog and other pet-oriented businesses are donating prizes. A suggested donation of $5 per pet will go into a fund to create a dog park at Palmer Park. To pre-register your dog and read the guidelines for safety and behavior click here.


“Bundle up and bring your ice skates, skis or snow shoes,” says People for Palmer Park President Rochelle Lento. “We hope to create a winter wonderland for kids and adults to enjoy.”

People for Palmer Park (PFPP) works tirelessly to make that neighborhood a destination site for healthy living and recreation and a protected nature reserve. Here are just a few things it’s done:

  • Cleaned out the 12 miles of forest trails in the park, making them bikeable and walkable again
  • Planted an urban community garden and apple orchards
  • Organized a Junior Tennis Academy for children
  • Helping to bring Little League baseball back to the park
  • Hosted free yoga classes on Saturday mornings during the summer, free weekly  tai chi classes in the warmer weather and weekly bike rides
  • Presented family Story Time events in the Park by the Log Cabin and garden, as well as in the community during the winter (on Jan. 18 Story Time will be held at Good Cakes and Bakes on 19363 Livernois Ave., in Detroit from 4-5 pm)
  • Helped bring back an annual Art Fair in May
  • Sponsored special events at the park, such as Log Cabin Day in June where you can see the1880’s structure and learn about the crafts, culture and history of the region; Harvest Fest with petting zoo, apple tasting and fall hay rides through the trails
  • Helped open the new Splash Park built by the Lear Corporation and new playground installed by the City of Detroit.

In addition to planning special events and recreational activities, PFPP organizes regular cleanups of the park, as well as flower and tree plantings.

For more information, go to

Photo credit: Barbara Barefield

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