Nutcracker ballerinas greet guests at benefit luncheon

Photo by Laurie Tennent
Tiny ballerinas from the Ballet Americana production of “The Nutcracker Ballet” perform for the more than 300 guests at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council’s Nutcracker Luncheon Extravaganza. From left are Ivy Bergman, Elle Munzenberger, Evelyn Squire, Sophia Ma, Liliana Lorenz, Cassie Cumbo, MacKenzie Welsh and Ava Branam. The luncheon was held Dec. 4 at The Henry.

By Evelyn Cairns
Guests at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council’s 30th annual benefit Nutcracker Luncheon Extravaganza on Dec. 4 were greeted as they arrived at The Henry by two of the sugarplum fairies from the recent Ballet Americana production of “The Nutcracker Ballet.”

More than 300 symphony supporters attended the luncheon, for which Paula Tutman of WDIV Channel 4 was the master of ceremonies.

The greeters were Amy Jenkins of Dearborn and Nicole Brown of Taylor. Entertainment at the event included a performance by tiny ballerinas from the “Nutcracker” production.

The dancers included Ava Branam and Sophia Ma of Taylor, Ivy Bergman of Wyandotte and Liliana Lorenz of Allen Park, MacKenzie Welsh of Lincoln Park, Cassie Cumbo of Flat Rock, Elle Munzenberger of Brownstown and Evelyn Squire of Dexter.

Prior to and after a luncheon of butternut squash soup and poached chicken salad, guests shopped for a wide variety of holiday gifts, including many with musical motifs.

The afternoon also included a raffle for such prizes as beauty parties, art work, jewelry and trips.

Foodies have many choices
There’s something for foodies of all ages during Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village, which continue from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Dec. 18 through 23 and 26 and 27 with food stations offering hot apple cider and cocoa, freshly baked goodies and roasted chestnuts, plus opportunities for Supper with Santa and a Christmas feast.

Supper with Santa includes Holiday Nights admission, a horse-drawn-wagon ride to A Taste of History restaurant, (where St. Nick table hops), arts and crafts and story telling. Tickets are $43 for adults; $31, children 5 through 12; and $12.50, children 4 and younger.

The holiday feast, at the Eagle Tavern, features squash soup, rib of beef, roasted chicken with apricot sauce, ginger cake with vanilla sauce and more.

Seatings are available at 5 and 8 p.m., and admission to Holiday Nights is included. The cost is $75, adults, and $70, youths.

To purchase tickets for the dinner packages, call 313-982-6001 or go to Reduced prices are available to Henry Ford members.

Carolers singing tradition holiday songs stroll through the village during Holiday Nights, and the Dodworth Saxhorn Band performs on Main Street.

At the end of the evening, visitors can purchase official Holiday Nights lanterns and join a procession from the Martha-Mary Chapel to Town Hall for a fire-works display and a sing-along.

Ford Museum is decked out
The Henry Ford Museum is decked out for the holidays both inside and out and is offering children a chance to visit with Santa and receive a special coloring book Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Dec. 24.

Other attractions at the museum will continue through Jan. 6. They include the Alleghany Locomotive hands-on display; and the newest exhibition, Lego Architecture: Towering Ambition, where guests can build a specially designed miniature of the museum’s Clocktower to take home with them on Saturdays during December.

The museum also boasts a 25-foot Christmas tree and outside decorations inspired by the 15th century Italian sculptor Luca della Robbia.

Admission costs $17, adults; $15, seniors; and $12.50, youths. Children 4 and younger are free, as are Henry Ford members. For more information on hours and attractions, call 313-982-6001 or go to