We all know the old adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Sometimes videos can portray a story better than any other medium, no matter how much we write about it. Visual. Concise. Objective.
Here's our list of the video stories that captured the attention of Rochester Patch readers this year, along with dozens of others you may have missed the first time around:
January: Saying Goodbye to Gus
Mourning patrons of O’Connor's Public House gathered on Jan. 13 to march through downtown Rochester for the Irish wake of fictional “Gus O’Connor,” who was honored by a toast of Jameson whiskey and a humorous eulogy when his first name was dropped from the local tavern.
Naturally, residents from Rochester and Rochester Hills had little choice but to show up and pay their respects. O'Connor's memory lives on in the coffin that hangs from the ceiling – the same one that was once filled with ice-cold Guinness and carted through downtown Rochester.
Also in January:
- On Jan, 16, Oakland Township editor Jen Anesi caught up with Heidi Paterson, a.k.a. the "Toffee Lady," who sells her toffee online and at several downtown Rochester businesses.
- Tips for Staying Safe While Skiing and Snowboarding
- Local Musical Teen is Honored in Annual Memorial Concert
- Tigers Bring Winter Caravan to Rochester Hills
- Congressman Peters: We Need to Embrace Art
February: Triple Cheering
When all three Rochester high schools' cheer teams advanced to regionals, the cheering was nonstop. "It's like winning a million dollars, finally," said Rochester Adams Coach Courtney Kezlarian, whose team took fourth place, while Rochester placed first and Stoney Creek third. There are videos of all three teams with this story, and readers also found them worth cheering – and Facebooking – about.
Also in February:
- Cheers from a somewhat younger audience filled the Rochester High School auditorium a few days earlier, on Feb. 10, when aspiring middle schoolers took to the stage for the chance to be a Rochester "Idol."
- Valentine's Day Video Shout-Outs
- Bieber Fever Spreads to Emagine Rochester Hills
- Adams High School Students Assemble to Celebrate Charity Week
March: Shall We Dance?
Alan and Karen Smith of Rochester Hills, who opened Rochester Ballroom this year in downtown Rochester, became hooked on ballroom dancing and now share that love with others. This video, which published about the same time as the season premiere of Dancing with the Stars, danced across Rochester readers' computers as they Facebooked it another 84 times.
Also in March:
- Sometimes it's the little video moments that capture readers – like this buzzer-beater as Adams' basketball team wins in OT to advance to the regional champinship, or Virginia Ford's sunny smile at Knapp's Donuts on "Paczki Day."
- The Thrill of Victory: High School Sports Bring Out Emotions
- Community Celebrates Launch of OU Clean Energy Center
- Recent Teen Suicides Move Kensington Community to Gather for 'A Night of Hope'
April: Easter Eggs and Pinball Games
April was dominated by Easter, from the sight of thousands of children scrambling for east eggs to enjoying a pancake breakfast with the Easter Bunny, to the Jaycees delivering meals and cheer on Easter. But pinball fans also had some fun as they headed to Oakland University for the Pinball Expo, where for $15 a pinball wizard – or anyone else – had access to 200 pinball games for the day.
Also in April:
May: Mom Prom
The annual benefit for Charlotte's Wings, affectionately called the "mom prom," entertained 450 guests at the Royal Park Hotel, featured dinner, dancing and a silent auction to raise money for Charlotte's Wings, the Rochester charity that buys books for hospitals across Michigan. To date, the organization has donated more than 9,000 books.
Also in May:
- A series of 15 videos feature area residents wishing a Happy Mother's Day to the special mothers in their lives.
- For Kids Around Rochester, May Saturdays are For Catching and Hitting
- Rain or Shine, Spring Weekends are For Youth Soccer Across Rochester
- Piston Jonas Jerebko Reads to Students at University Hills
Jack Kevorkian was from Royal Oak, but when he died, people from throughout Michigan – including Rochester and Rochester Hills – had plenty to say about it. The video reactions were by far the most viewed videos on the site in June.
Also in June:
- Hey, Dad – Happy Father's Day!: Seven video shout-outs to important fathers in these residents' lives.
- In Rochester Hills Little League, We're All 'All-Stars'
July was all about Harry Potter, and we have about 50 videos to prove it. From What has Harry Potter meant to you? to If you could ride a broomstick, where would you go? Rochester Patch participated fully in Potter-mania. In the end, it was the Oakland University Muggle Quidditch team video that drew the most views and Facebook likes, followed by fans dressing up and showing up early for the premiere of the final movie.
Also in July:
- Talini, a 400-pound polar bear, floated around eating her scrumptious snack at the Detroit Zoo. The nutritious frozen snack (made of fresh fish, apples and pineapple), was served to Talini as part of the zoo's environmental enrichment program to help her beat the heat wave.
- What Do You Know About the Fourth of July?
- Cooking With Ethan: How to Make Dirt Worm Pudding
- Curious? Curiouser? Here's a Look at Avon Players' 'Alice'
- 7 Days Until Harry Potter: Who's Your Favorite Harry Potter Character?
- 6 Days Until Harry Potter: What's Your Favorite Spell?
- 5 Days Until Harry Potter: If You Could Ride a Broomstick, Where Would You Go?
- 4 Days Until Harry Potter: Which Hogwarts House Would You Be In?
- 3 Days Until Harry Potter: What Magical Pet Do You Want?
- Bike vs. Car: Who Will Reach Library First?
- 2 Days Until Harry Potter: What's Your Favorite Harry Potter Book or Movie?
- 1 Day Until Harry Potter: What Will You Miss Most About Harry Potter?
- Rochester Hills Borders Begins Liquidating Store, Prepares to Close
August: Ride for the Red
More than 160 motorcycles took off on an August Sunday morning on the Red Cross Ride for the Red, cruising a 60-mile scenic tour of Michigan's back roads – with proceeds going to support the American Red Cross – Southeast Michigan Chapter. The chapter is the second busiest in the country next to New York City and provides health and safety training, disaster relief services and services to members of the military and their families.
Also in August:
September: Flash Mob at Village
Say "Flash mob" and apparently Rochester readers are all over it. The flash mob sponsored by Talmer Bank & Trust that took place just before the Battle of the Bands during the Village's Back 2 School Bash went bonkers, with thousands of views and 46 Facebook recommends.
Also in September:
President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak spoke at the General Motors plant in Lake Orion. Lee's opener: "Folks, I'm a little bit shorter than President Obama, so I'm going to adjust the microphone. I hope you don't mind."
Meanwhile, residents were abuzz over sightings of Obama's helicopter as it headed to the Orion Township GM Assembly Plant.
Also in October:
- Protesters Have Messages for U.S., South Korean Presidents
- Oakland University Reacts to Deaths of 2 Honor Students
- Kids 'Trick or Treat!' at Rochester Farmers' Market on Closing Day
- Have You Heard About the Hoot?
- It's a Hoot in the Woods at Dinosaur Hill
- Adams Gets Revenge on Oxford, Advances to Next Round of Playoffs
November: Sweet reception for gingerbread house
As pastry chefs, engineers and landscape artists are put the finishing touches on an 8-foot-tall gingerbread house inside the lobby of the Royal Park Hotel, Rochester Patch readers couldn't get enough of the sweet creation, making it the top viewed, Facebooked and Tweeted video of December. The gingerbread house is a tradition for the downtown Rochester hotel and a partnership with the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit.
Patch covered the midnight openings on Black Friday to get shoppers’ opinions on the earliest opening ever. Serious shoppers and budget buyers were out in droves to Best Buy, Target and mobbed the shoe section at Parisian to get their hands on the best deals. Two brothers actually camped outside of Best Buy for a week to swag out their rooms with some brand-new TVs.
- Holiday Home Tour to Benefit Rochester Hills Public Library
- Rochester Hills Pauses Under a Sunny Sky to Honor Veterans Among Us
- Watch Party Gives OU Students a Chance to Weigh in on National Debate
- Cold, Wet Crowd Chants 'Light the Town' – and Rochester Answers
December: Polar Express pulls into the library
The Rochester Hills Public Library broke its attendance record when the Polar Express came to town and 750 people maxed out registration in a matter of hours.
The highlights included carolers from the Older Persons' Commission, making magic reindeer food, mailing letters to Santa and — of course — a trolley ride through the Big, Bright Lights show in downtown Rochester with complimentary chocolates and hot cocoa.
This video highlights the home of Brent Waldrep, whose home becomes an annual holiday destination, also raising money for the Rainbow Connection. This video has had 61 Facebook recommends and was one of the most clicked-on videos of December.
Also in December: