More about The Blizzard of Oz
Remember “The Wizard of Oz,” one of Hollywood’s greatest hits? Recall how a tornado ripped through Kansas, whisking away little Dorothy and her dog, Toto, to the magical land of Oz. The movie made characters like The Wizard of Oz, The Tin Man, Scarecrow and Wicked Witch of the West into legendary figures. But what if Dorothy and Toto had been landed in a little different Oz? Like a park in Taylor …
The Taylor Winterfest will bring the holiday season to life as the “Blizzard of Oz” takes place from November 18 through January 10 at Heritage Park. Imagine a version of “The Wizard of Oz” meets the Great White North, and that will give visitors an idea of what they will be entering.
The City of Taylor and Bluewater Technologies, LLC, are partnering to create a winter wonderland filled with interactive high-tech laser shows, holiday displays and notable characters as families make their way down our own version of the “Yellow Brick Road” through the historic Coan Lake area, Heritage Park Petting Farm and the Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
Visitors will see full-building projections, more than 100 lighted Christmas trees, larger-than-life characters and more than 200,000 holiday lights as Heritage Park becomes a true winter wonderland.
Each weekend will bring a new theme and story to life:
The Nutcracker on November 18, 19, 20 and 21
Travel to the Land of Sweets ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy and experience the classic story of a girl who falls in love with a magically brought to life nutcracker on Christmas Eve, and forced to wage battle against the Mouse King.
Grinchmas on November 27, 28, 29 and 30
Heart two sizes too small? Join the Grinch as he attempts to ruin Christmas for Cindy Lou Who and the Mayor of Whoville!
Frosty Paws on December 3, 4, 5 and 6
Give your pet some holiday cheer and take your best friend for a treat filled walk through Heritage Park’s winter wonderland
Polar Plunge on December 10, 11, 12 and 13
If you’re feeling a chill nipping at your nose, come visit Jack Frost in person along with those who love him most like Santa’s live reindeer. Keep an eye out for some large footprints in the snow, the Abominable Snowman might be sneaking around.
Santa’s Workshop on December 17, 18, 19 and 20
Wander around the North Pole as Santa and his favorite elves work hard to meet their Christmas deadline
Holiday Carnival on December 21-22 and 26-27
Join some of your favorite holiday characters for a weekend at the winter carnival featuring stilt walkers, fire tricks, balancing acts and illusion.
Frozen on December 28-29 and January 2-3
Do you want to build a snowman? Visit with Anna, Kristoff and Elsa for some frozen fun during what may seem a perpetual winter.
Harry Potter on January 7, 8, 9 and 10
Don’t let the last remaining glimmers of holiday magic go to waste. Mix in some fantasy and cast a spell to travel to Hogwarts and hope to hear, “yer a wizard!”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a limited capacity event by reservation only through Universe.com. The special reserved scheduling will enable caravans of small groups and all of the necessary social distancing. We want all visitors to be safe. Masks will be required.
Reservations will be available by the half-hour each evening beginning at 6 p.m.
- Non-resident $25 for adults and teenagers; $15 for children 4-13 years old.
- Taylor residents receive a special discount $20 for adults and teens, and $10 for children 4-13.
- Anyone 3 and under is free.
Take-it-yourself photos with Santa will benefit the Taylor Goodfellows, and other local charities will also benefit from this event.
Alcoholic drinks and general refreshments will be available for purchase inside the “Blizzard of Oz” area, which will be totally fenced off. Parking is free and available throughout Heritage Park. Other key features of the Winterfest will include a complete food truck court inside the Sheridan Center Open Air Pavilion, and a holiday-themed craft show inside the Activities Building (located directly behind the Taylor Community Library.
The “Blizzard of Oz” is replacing the annual Taylor Winterfest this year. The Winterfest traditionally consists of a 5K run/walk, community parade, City tree lighting and fireworks display – all of which could not be done safely because of the pandemic. Likewise, Santa’s Magic Forest, an annual tradition in Taylor that benefits the Downriver Fish & Loaves Food Pantry, has also been cancelled this year. Given the holiday void, Mayor Rick Sollars is excited about the possibilities of this year’s offering.
“Heritage Park is beautiful in the winter and this should be breathtaking,” he said. “We firmly believe that this will turn into Downriver’s most attractive Christmas event over the course of time. It will be a unique experience, a great opportunity for families to come out and experience the old, traditional Christmas – carolers, Santa Claus, themed characters – combined with this visual storytelling that only Bluewater can provide.”
Bluewater Technologies, LLC, now located in Wixom, aims to “create moments that matter,” supporting sensory storytelling across digital and physical canvases. An elite audio-visual company, its clients include Wells Fargo, Walmart, University of Michigan, Michigan State, Detroit Lions, Little Caesars, Lexus, Adidas, Ford, GMA and Chevrolet, among many others. It recently created “GlenLore Trails: The Haunted Forest,” in Commerce Township to rave reviews.
Founded in 1985, it was initially named “BlueWater Visual Services,” and company operated out of the garage in Southfield. At the time, Bluewater provided simple AV equipment rental – namely TVs on carts. But it rapidly evolved in response to changes in technology and the demands of customers, and quickly grew to become one of the most trusted event staging and AV integrators in the country.
Heritage Park is located on the corner of Northline Road and Pardee, which is located between Telegraph and Allen roads. Onsite parking is accessible from either the Pardee Road entrance (north of Northline) or the Northline Road entrance (east of Pardee (at the corner of Northline and Racho).