LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Today, the Lansing Board of Water and Light and the City of Lansing hosted the 37th annual Silver Bells in the City Parade.
The event began at 5 p.m. and go until 8:30 p.m. with the 24th annual Electric Light Parade beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Thousands of people were expected to be at Silver Bells tonight, meaning a lot of traffic for downtown businesses.
6 News Reporter Ya-Marie Sesay stopped by Sweet Encounter Bakery to see how the business is preparing for tonight.
“We’re right in the epicenter of Silver Bells and we’re hoping they come in and look around and find something that they want to bring home,” said Carole Kovac-DeMarco, an employee. “I want to be busy because we have a lot of things to sell.”
Silver Bells in the city has the bakery doubling its inventory and you can expect to see some tasty treats.
“Cinnamon latte cupcakes with maples frostings they are to die for, very very cranberry bars, we have caramel apple cream cheese bars,” continued Kovac-DeMarco.
They’re hoping to sell out of anything.
“Sell a lot of hot cocoa bombs, and warm you up. It’s cold outside you got to come in and get a hot cocoa bomb,” she said.
Sweet Encounters is offering free samples for passersby and is one of many businesses happy to have Silver Bells back.
Last year was a bit different for the parade after the pandemic made the event go virtual.
The city held its annual state Christmas tree lighting, which along with the parade, bringing thousands to the downtown area.
2021 Silver Bells in the city is TONIGHT. Come enjoy the Electric Light Parade, Lighting of the state of Michigan Christmas tree, Community sing, Firefly drone holiday light show, Silver Bells Village and more! #FunInTheCity #holidayseason pic.twitter.com/YntjXH9OAn— Lansing Police (@LansingPolice) November 19, 2021
In order to accommodate the festivities, multiple streets were closed off, as well as lane reductions.
Washington Ave. from St. Joseph St. to Lenawee St. and Hillsdale St. from Capitol Ave. to Grand Ave. were shut down starting at 11:30 a.m this morning
Following the parade, crowds will gather around the state Christmas tree for the countdown to the lighting.
The state Christmas tree is a 63-foot-spruce that was harvested in the western Upper Peninsula and donated by Carla Fletcher and her family.
Following the tree lighting, there was a community sing-along.
Singer-songwriter Zania Alaké hit the stage to belt out songs and entertain the crowd. Alaké was also a 2021 contestant on the Voice.
And to top off the night? A holiday drone show.
6 News Sheri Jones was able to catch some of the holiday cheer.
The holiday light show is designed and orchestrated by world-class artists and engineers who have done light shows for Amazon Music, Capitol One Orange Bowl, Disney Plus and Ford Motor Company
Organizers say it’s an exciting day and they hope for a good turnout.
“Yeah we do a lot of events, but this one is the signature event, for The City of Lansing, and for the state of Michigan. We’re just super excited to spread some comfort and joy and give a lot of people hope, during a really challenging time and just bring people together in the holiday spirit.”Mindy Biladeau, Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority
Officials say the event normally brings approximately 45,000 plus people out.
On the other hand, this year they aren’t fully sure of how many will come out due to the recent COVID-19 spike.
Silver Bells in the City is produced with the assistance of many passionate volunteers, remaining free to all through the support of sponsors along with assistance from The State of Michigan and The City of Lansing.