DETROIT — Somerset Collection’s legendary holiday décor will get a complete makeover this season through the work of the creative artists at The Parade Co. The new holiday experience was created by hiring almost all Michigan businesses. Planterra, Imagination Theatre Etc!, and a host of small businesses and individuals, including students from the College for Creative Studies, were engaged to produce the new décor.
“Somerset Collection has introduced metro Detroiters to some of the world’s top fashion designers and brands such as Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton and Restoration Hardware, and our area is also known for introducing the most creative production companies and artists,” said Nate Forbes, managing partner of Forbes Co., which owns the Somerset Collection. “The Somerset Collection holiday display has become a tradition for 16 years that our community plans for and looks forward to. We are thrilled that local business helped us to keep this tradition alive and new.”
The new décor entitled “Once Upon a Holiday…”will evoke a wintry enchanted forest theme in Somerset Collection’s North Grand Court, which will be lined with snowy birch and pine trees, adorned with sparkling fruit clusters and animatronic woodland animals. The forest will lead to a remodeled version of the famed old-word castle that debuted in 1996 for Somerset North’s grand opening. The castle will feature Santa’s workshop, where Santa and his helpers greet children with memorable photos and fun games.
The Somerset Collection worked with the Parade Company to craft the new display. The Parade Company has been a benefactor of the Somerset Collection’s philanthropic and community initiatives for many years, but this is the first time the organization has been hired to design and create a project of this magnitude and scale.
“The Parade Company has a long history of creating magical environments in our Detroit Parade Studio and we are honored to have worked with Somerset Collection on its grand holiday display and always appreciate the opportunity to share our work with the region,” said Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company.
The Somerset Collection also hired long-time collaborators, Imagination Theatre Etc! to execute the new décor concept and manage the project, and Planterra to design and assemble foliage. Both companies have worked with the Somerset Collection for more than 15 years.
“We are proud to have had the opportunity to partner with Somerset Collection in the creation of signature decor and entertainment for many years. It’s a dream come true for us to be able to present this new incarnation of Santa’s home in the enchanted forest. We hope that this will be the source of happy holiday memories for years and years,” said m’Arch McCarty, Imagination Theatre Etc! artistic director.
Additionally, the Somerset Collection engaged more than 20 Michigan-based companies and generated more than 100 jobs by sourcing local. Business and organizations, from Saginaw Knitting Mills for Santa’s suit to the College for Creative Studies for renderings, were hired for this project.
“It is always our goal to build a stronger community in a variety of ways, including offering enriching employment opportunities at the Somerset Collection. To be able to create this level of economic impact across Michigan for our holiday display is particularly heartwarming,” said Forbes.
The new holiday décor will be completely installed by Nov. 16 when Santa arrives to his new castle and workshop. His arrival will be celebrated with a grand parade.