Top Videos of 2011: Here's What You Watched, Rochester

Here's our list of some of the top videos based on your clicks, Facebook likes and comments – from an 'Irish wake' to Black Friday madness around Rochester and Rochester Hills.

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:


Mourning patrons of gathered on Jan. 13 to march through downtown Rochester for the 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 who sells her toffee online and at several downtown Rochester businesses.


When all three Rochester high schools' cheer teams advanced to regionals, the cheering was nonstop. "It's like winning a million dollars, finally," said Coach Courtney Kezlarian, whose team took fourth place, while placed first and third. There are with this story, and readers also found them worth cheering – and Facebooking – about.

Also in February:

  • auditorium a few days earlier, on Feb. 10, when for the chance to be a Rochester "Idol."


Alan and Karen Smith of Rochester Hills, who opened this year in downtown Rochester, became hooked on ballroom dancing and now share that love with others. , 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 to advance to the regional champinship, or

April: and

April was dominated by Easter, from the sight of thousands of children to enjoying a , to the . But pinball fans also had some fun as they headed to Oakland University for , where for $15 a pinball wizard – or anyone else – had access to 200 pinball games for the day.

Also in April:


The annual benefit for , affectionately called the "mom prom," entertained 450 guests at the , 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 to the special mothers in their lives.


was from Royal Oak, but when he died, people from throughout Michigan – including Rochester and Rochester Hills – . The video reactions were by far the most viewed videos on the site in June.

Also in June:

  • : Seven video shout-outs to important fathers in these residents' lives.


July was all about Harry Potter, and we have about 50 videos to prove it. From   to Rochester Patch participated fully in Potter-mania. In the end, it was the that drew the most views and Facebook likes, followed by for the premiere of the final movie.

Also in July:

  • , 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.


More than 160 motorcycles took off on an August Sunday morning on the Red Cross , 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:


Say "Flash mob" and apparently Rochester readers are all over it. 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  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 as it headed to the Orion Township GM Assembly Plant.

Also in October:


As pastry chefs, engineers and landscape artists are put the finishing touches  on an inside the lobby of the 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  on Black Friday to get shoppers’ opinions on the earliest opening ever. Serious shoppers and budget buyers were out in droves to , and mobbed the shoe section at 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.


The 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 —  in downtown Rochester with complimentary chocolates and hot cocoa.

, whose home becomes an annual holiday destination, also raising money for the . This video has had 61 Facebook recommends and was one of the most clicked-on videos of December.

Also in December:


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