Wednesday, November 21, 2018

5 Holiday Traditions from Around the World

BAY CITY, Mich. -- Whether brand new or long-standing, traditions are an important aspect of the holidays. While we have many of our own here in the United States, it's interesting to learn about how other countries celebrate this time of year. Without further ado, here are five holiday traditions from around the world!

1. LA BEFANA - Italy

While Santa Claus is a holiday icon for many people in America, the one in charge of spreading yuletide cheer in Italy is a kind old witch named La Befana (which actually means "giver of gifts"). On January 5th during the celebration known as the "Eve of Epiphany," Italian families leave out a plate of broccoli with spiced sausage and a glass of wine for La Befana, who is said to be out flying around on her broomstick delivering gifts to all good children.


Carolers may not be such a common sight around the holidays anymore here, but the tradition remains alive and well across the pond in Wales - with a rather morbid twist. From Christmas until late January, you can find groups of people accompanied by a skeletal horse character, known as the Mari Lywd, traveling door-to-door and singing carols in exchange for food and drinks. While the exact origin of the Mari Lywd is unknown, the celebration is said to have roots in ancient Celtic rites and thought to bring good luck.

3. KRAMPUS - Germany, Hungary, Austria

When you consider the consequences of being on the "naughty" list in Eastern Europe, getting a lump of coal here in the United States is actually not all that bad. Krampus is a beastly character in German, Hungarian, and Austrian folklore who is said to stalk the streets on Christmas Eve, visiting the homes of bad children and punishing them for their misdeeds - including scooping them up in a sack and hauling them off for dinner!

4. THE YULE CAT - Iceland

Folks in Iceland wouldn't be caught dead in last year's outfit on Christmas Eve, lest they become a snack for the Yule Cat. The legend of this monstrously fashion-conscious feline was used by farmers as a way to scare laborers into making sure they processed all the autumn wool before the holidays. Those who did were rewarded with new clothes. Those who didn't would get nothing, and be eaten by the Yule Cat.


Aside from a few small traditions such as exchanging gifts and light displays, Christmas isn't really a big deal in Japan. Do you know what is a big deal around the holidays though? The Colonel. Back in 1974, KFC initially set up shop in Japan to accommodate visitors to the country who wanted something resembling a traditional holiday meal. It unexpectedly became a huge hit with the locals, who have now carried on the tradition of the KFC Christmas Dinner for over 40 years.

Do you know of any other unique holiday traditions in different cultures? What tradition does your family practice? Comment and tell us below!

Hank Graff Chevy
 is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Happy Birthday to the Chevy Colorado!

BAY CITY, Mich. -- This November the Chevrolet Colorado turns 4! This segment redefining truck has taken the US market by storm reignited an interest in midsize utility vehicles, and made GM the most successful truck company for the last four years, selling 634, 505 more pickups than their closest competitor. 

In celebration of this truck legend's birthday, Chevy is expanding the Colorado family with two 2019 special editions, the off-road package Z71 Trail Runner and the street-savvy RST. The Z71 features your standard off-roading accessories and adds the ZR2's amazing underbody protection. Additional changes include a stamped aluminum front, mid skid plates, functional rocker protection, and Goodyear Duratrac tires. The RST ramps up the typical street features offered on the Tahoe, Suburban, and all-new Silverado, but with a slightly more sophisticated edge. It includes LT trim, a monochromatic exterior offset, a black beltline, body side moldings, a black tailgate bowtie, in addition to, Colorado and RST badges. It's also the first Colorado to offer 20-inch wheels, finished in a low-gloss black. 

Additionally, both releases feature the flow-through "CHEVROLET" lettered grille, first released on the Colorado ZR2 Bison, which can also be purchased as an accessory for $395 plus installation and tax. 

With these new additions, the Colorado lineup now offers new levels of off-road capability and street smart possibility. Sandor Piszar, director of marketing for Chevrolet trucks said the Colorado has and will continue to "change what customers expect from a midsize truck, inspire competitors, and bring new customers to Chevrolet". We wish someone would say such nice things about us on our birthday. 

The 2019 Colorado releases join numerous other GM special editions and fully redesigned models for this upcoming year, foreshadowing a profitable year for the corporation. Which release has been your favorite so far? Comment and let us know! We love hearing from you. 

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

Shop Small and Get Big Rewards this Season

BAY CITY, Mich. -- Forget the crowds at your typical big-box stores this holiday season and shop small! Small Business Saturday is November 24th, but we encourage you to support your local businesses all season long. Not only does it put a smile on your local entrepreneur's face, it keeps your tax dollars in your neighborhood, creates jobs in your community, and gives you a more unique array of products to choose from. 

In case you're not convinced here's a few other awesome reasons you should shop small: 
  • It Helps the Environment - as most small businesses offer locally sourced products it cuts down on packaging and transportation, thus reducing carbon footprint. 
  • Personalized Customer Service - independent business owners know and care about their clientele which leads to an exceptional service experience. 
  • Increase Tourism - independent retailers and service providers offer unique goods and services that can lure tourists to your community which boosts your local economy. 
  • It Feels Good - Supporting small businesses doesn't just get your shopping list checked off, it makes your local entrepreneur's day. Spread the cheer this holiday season, shop small! 
Here's a few of our favorite picks for local businesses in the Bay City area that have the holiday gift game on lock. 


This sweet little shop is a foodie's dream, with an inventory that consists of artisan cheese, cured meats and pates, small batch preserves, and authentic gelato! Have them design a charcuterie tray for your next holiday event, or give the tastemaker in your life a subscription to their cheese of the month box! 


This super cute store is the perfect place to find a gift for the hard-to-shop for girl. Not only is this spot full of unique, Michigan-made items like bags, blankets, jewelry, and clothes, the staff provides friendly, top-notch service. 


This quaint little furniture and curios outfit is sure to have the perfect piece for the designer on your list. From vintage boots to collector's rugs and ottomans, there's no doubt you'll find something unique here. 


The only true bookstore in Bay City, this gem is full of gifts perfect for all ages and all interests. It's well organized, and the staff is super friendly. It may be number four on our list but we give this spot 5 stars! 


This sweet little shop was founded by a Detroit native who relocated to the Bay area and couldn't find a store that catered to her style. Named after her grandmother, Ferne Boutique, is full of cute clothes, accessories and gifts for all the stylish women in your life. 


Stop by Studio 23 every Sunday during the holiday season for an artist pop-up extravaganza. Not only will you be supporting local talent, you're sure to find something wonderful for the art lover in your life. 


This local treasure has been a part of the Bay City community since 1867. More than just a high-end jewelry store, the offer a great selection of accessories and home accents. Known for their beautiful collections and top-notch service, Herman Hiss and Co is the perfect place to shop a gift full of shimmer and shine. 


This little gem offers products from over 75 Michigan and other USA artisans in a sweet, welcoming atmosphere. Plus, they're offering a special gift to the first 5 customers to spend $50 on Small Business Saturday, so make sure you get there early!


Proud supporters of the maker movement, hand mile handmade offers products from artisans all over Michigan and the US. Their wide selection of clothes, art, home goods, and more ensures you'll find something for everyone on your list. 


If you have a cyclist in your life, you need to check out Jack's Bicycle Shop. Their shop is full of unique bikes and gear with a friendly, humorous staff to boot. They handle custom builds, repairs and even offer a rental program as well! 

Do you have a favorite local retailer we didn't include in our list? Comment and let us know! We'll see you in the shops on 11/24. Happy Holidays and happy shopping! 

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Chevy Commemorates Their 50 Year Performance Legacy with 2019 COPO Camaro

BAY CITY, Mich. -- Chevy celebrates 50 years of the COPO Camaro legacy with a special edition that pays homage to the original 1969 COPO. A bonafide throwback, it features a metallic blue exterior, reminiscent of the inaugural Laguna blue, an orange engine block, chrome valve covers and a black, high-rise intake manifold. Unveiled at SEMA, this model highlights new and time-honored pieces of Chevy's large performance catalog. 

The COPO program got it's start in the late 60's when Fred Gibb, a Chevy dealer in Illinois utilized the company's special order program to build the first-recognized, performance Camaro. His goal was to produce a car with more competitive edge in Stock Eliminator drag racing, which he accomplished by installing the ZL1 427 engine. 

Getting the project approved by Chevrolet came with a large amount of red tape. In order to make the engine eligible for NHRA competition, at least 50 models of the car were required to be offered for sale to the public. While this may not seem like a large obstacle, the suped-up muscle car was twice the cost of a standard Camaro-making it a hard sell for the general public. To Gibb's shock, he sold 13 models, and the other 37 were redistributed to other dealers. 

Since then, the COPO has become a yearly release tradition and has continued to preface the ever-growing hype around specially-built performance vehicles. The 2019 COPO Camaro features a distinct, model-specific front end design and revised version of the supercharged LSX-based 350 engine that includes a 2.65L Magnuson supercharger. 

In keeping with tradition, only 69 2019 COPO Camaro race cars will be built. Want one of your own? You can register to buy here:

What do you think of the 2019 COPO Camaro? Is it on your dream car list or are you unimpressed? Comment and let us know! 

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

8 Makeovers You Need to Give Your Holiday Bird This Year

BAY CITY, Mich. -- Are you tired of the same old holiday turkey recipe your family has been eating for generations dragging down your otherwise bomb Thanksgiving feast? Us too. Check out all these delicious ways to give your bird the beautiful makeover it deserves this year. Glazed, braised, smoked, bacon-wrapped? Yes Please. 


This bird is the word. Slightly spicy, but brimming with deep, complex flavor, this recipe kicks your Thanksgiving feast up a Southwestern notch. 

Get the recipe here:


Bacon makes everything better, and this turkey is no exception. Not only does the crispy bacon "skin" look and taste amazing, it creates a barrier of salt, fat, and moisture that keeps the turkey moist and seasons it while it cooks. 

Get the recipe here:


If your family just can't get enough BBQ, try this awesome recipe out. The spice rub creates a perfect blackened crust on the turkey skin, and the cranberry sauce is the perfect combination of sweet, tart, and slightly spicy. 

Get the recipe here:


Forego the typical whole bird this year and try roasting a whole bird instead! It's faster and incredibly moist. This recipe plays with some Spanish influence by incorporating chorizo and pimenton, a sweet Spanish paprika for an elegant spin on traditional Thanksgiving flavors. 

Get the recipe here: 



Not only does this recipe step away from the traditional whole turkey, you can make it a few days to a week ahead! If you're unfamiliar with braising, give it a try! It makes for extremely tender, deeply seasoned meat. These legs make perfect pulled turkey sandwiches the next day, too! 

Get the recipe here:


A recipe for smoked turkey you can make right on your grill! Applewood chips lend a sweet, slightly fruity flavor to this bird, pair it with a sage-seasoned, sausage stuffing, and a peppery gravy. Perfect for BBQ sandwiches the day after too! 

Get the recipe here:


Glazing a turkey adds flavor to the drippings and enhances the flavor of the bird. This molasses-based, pepper and pomegranate glaze from Bobby Flay is slightly sweet and pairs wonderfully with roasted root vegetables or a nutmeg-spiced corn casserole. 

Get the recipe here:


Unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard about the unbelievable effects the butterfly cooking method has on your ordinary bird. We're here to tell you the rumors are true. The cook time is faster, the meat is amazingly tender, and the skin is oh-so-crispy. This recipe calls for a brined bird, so prep time is a little long, but so worth it. 

Get the recipe here:

How are you planning on cooking your Holiday bird this year? If you try one of the recipes above, comment and let us know how it turned out. We love hearing from you!

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

Saturday, November 3, 2018

National Metal Day: 10 Most Influential Artists in Service to the Metal

BAY CITY, Mich. -- The first National Metal Day was declared on November 11th, 2011. The significance of the date is an homage to the metal mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap and the famous scene in which fictional guitarist, Nigel Tufnel, proudly displays a set of amplifiers with volume knobs that "go to 11" instead of the usual 10, allowing the band to kick it one notch higher should the occasion call for it. Since then, the day has become a celebration of all things metal - from the mythic themes that lend to its signature sound and unique culture, to the artists that have made it more of a religion than a musical genre.

We love all kinds of music here at Graff Bay City, and metal deserves recognition for its contributions to the artform as much as any other genre. As National Metal Day draws near, we give you ten of the most influential artists in service to the metal! Rock on!


Kicking off our list is the band credited by many as the originators of metal - or at least one of the genre's earliest pioneers. With groundbreaking records such as Paranoid (1970), which Time Magazine called "the birthplace of heavy metal", Black Sabbath helped to shape the dark and massive sound that we know today. Ask virtually any metal musician young or old to list their top five influences, and you can bet Black Sabbath is always one of them.


There's metal that's loud and aggressive. Then there's metal that's melodic and rhapsodic. For the latter, you can thank Judas Priest. With complex guitar passages, poetic lyrics, and frontman Rob Halford's killer vocal range, they would be extremely influential in shaping the sound of later melodic and progressive metal acts.

3. DIO

Ronnie James Dio may have left our world eight years ago, but his legacy and influence on the metal genre live on forever. When he formed his namesake band in 1982, Dio was already a veteran of the music business lending his larger than life vocals to acts such as Rainbow and even Black Sabbath. Between his commanding showmanship, powerful voice, and mythical lyrics - Dio was more than a man, but an icon. As Rolling Stone said of him following his death: "What always stood out was Dio's raging compassion for the lost rock & roll children in his audience. Dio never pretended to be one of the kids — he sang as an adult assuring us that we weren't alone in our suffering, and someday we might even be proud of conquering it."

Dio is also responsible for the hand signal known universally throughout the metal culture, known as the "devil horns". Despite its name, the signal is actually not evil at all - but rather protection against it. Dio learned it from his Italian grandmother, whose cultural superstition uses it to "blind" the Devil by poking him in the eyes with the index and little fingers, thus making oneself invisible to him.


Named after what is considered the very first zombie movie, White Zombie is responsible for pioneering the groove metal subgenre and paving the way for the nu metal movement of the 1990s which included acts such as Korn and Deftones. White Zombie also ushered in a new era of inclusion for women in metal, as bassist Sean Yseult was simply seen as just another member of the band, rather than singled out as a female in a largely male-dominated genre.


The first thrash metal band to record an album, Allmusic says of Metallica: "They expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions", and called the band "easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the '80s, responsible for bringing the music back to Earth".


Sweden's heavy grip and influence on metal culture need no introduction, and Opeth masterfully represents this legacy. Since their inception in 1989, they have fused a unique blend of progressive, folk, blues, and jazz elements with death metal more than any other band before them - alongside frontman Mikael Akerfeldt's impressively dynamic range able to shift between haunting clean vocals and deep, guttural growls creating pieces that are mind-altering musical odysseys rather than just songs.


Speaking of death metal, Slayer is directly responsible for its existence. Known as one of the "big four" of thrash metal, they took it to the extreme by adding elements of hardcore through downtuned rhythms, chugging guitar licks, and inflammatory lyrics that earned them heaps of controversy throughout their almost 40-year career. 


Despite mediocre radio and television time, Iron Maiden is considered to be one of the most successful heavy metal bands of all time, with over 100 million records sold worldwide as of 2017. In addition to their heavy influence on melodic metal and early thrash metal, they're noted for their incredible live performances that include their zombified mascot, Eddie, that helped to define the high energy and bombastic nature of the genre.


Much like their fellow countrymen Opeth, Arch Enemy are pioneers of melodic metal, progressive, and death metal fusion. Although their influence lies principally in former frontwoman Angela Gossow, whose powerfully brutal and aggressive vocals along with her commanding stage presence helped to pave the way for female-fronted metal bands - despite the genre being for the most part dominated by men.


While much of metal is plagued by controversy, Anthrax is noted as being one of the few acts of the genre to receive critical praise, helping to redefine its image during the 1980s and effectively making it more accessible to a broader fanbase. As far as their influence on the music itself, they're credited with helping to develop speed metal and thrash metal by adding elements of hardcore punk due to their upbringing in the New York underground.

Who are your favorite metal bands? Have you seen any of these artists live? Comment and tell us about it!

Hank Graff Chevy is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website: