The holiday season may be over, but elves from the Wixom Downtown Development Authority are keeping the magic of the season going a little longer.

Through their Wednesdays in Wixom program, which kicked off today, unsuspecting diners at any of the nine main restaurants in downtown Wixom may be surprised with a free meal as part of the initiative.

Wixom Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board and committee members are armed with free meals and will be hitting the streets every Wednesday in January and February before the program concludes on February 23.

Here’s how it works: a different restaurant is chosen each week and patrons are selected at random. Every Wednesday, a DDA board member will show up to the predetermined restaurant of the week and surprise winners with a card stating that their dinner has been paid for by the Wixom DDA.

“It feels really good to give back, not only to our restaurants in this way, but also to the community,” Wixom DDA Executive Director Laura Cloutier said. “This is something very little that the DDA does to say thank you to our community for their ongoing support of downtown Wixom, and especially our restaurants and cafes and bars. It makes the magic of the holiday season last a little bit longer. We get to be those holiday elves for a little bit longer and just spread a little joy and happiness, and say thank you to the people that are supporting our downtown.”

Now in its fourth year, the Wednesdays in Wixom program was started as a way to give back to the community and support the restaurant and hospitality industry in Wixom during what is typically their slowest time of the year. The program has continued to grow year after year, and after an unconventional year last year due to pandemic restrictions, Cloutier is hopeful that growth will continue.

During this time last year, pandemic restrictions saw restaurants at limited capacity for indoor dining following a nearly three-month ban. The Wixom DDA adapted and still managed to surprise diners in-person, with many coming out on a snowy night to eat outdoors.

“That was really important to the DDA, to not cancel this,” Cloutier said. “So much was cancelled because of the pandemic, and we had to cancel a lot of our events and initiatives throughout the year and so did the City of Wixom. We just felt this was so important to continue, and we felt that it could be done safely. People had been so isolated in their homes and down about the pandemic, it was really nice to give back and bring some joy and happiness just for a few minutes by paying for their meal last year.”

Participating restaurants in this year’s Wednesdays in Wixom initiative include Alex’s Pizzeria, Volare Ristorante, Drafting Table Brewing Company, Trail’s Edge Café, LaCasita, Al Maidah, Wixom Station and Backyard Coney Island.

Diners can check out the Downtown Wixom Facebook page for updates and clues as to where the DDA team will stop by each week. One week, two restaurants will be chosen. Depending on the type of business, DDA team members will be out anytime between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“We like to vary it every year and keep people on their toes,” Cloutier said. “We encourage people to come out and dine with our restaurants and our bars and enjoy themselves, and always grab a Junction drink and spend a little bit more time in downtown Wixom.”

The Junction, Wixom’s downtown social district, is open seven days a week, Sunday through Saturday, year-round, from noon to 10 p.m. For more information on DDA programs and upcoming events, visit

Author Name: Ali Zimnie
Publication Date: 1/5/2022