LANSING, MI — Downtown Lansing will be all aglow once again at the 34th Annual Silver Bells in the City, presented by the Lansing Board of Water & Light and the City of Lansing, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 16. The event brings together family and friends from all over Michigan to celebrate the start of the holiday season.
The event will feature numerous activities and special outdoor performances, highlighted by the 22nd Annual Electric Light Parade complete with 76 illuminated floats and marching bands. It starts at 6 p.m. from the corner of South Washington Square and Lenawee Street.
Immediately following the parade, crowds will gather ‘round the State Christmas Tree and participate in the highly anticipated countdown to the lighting of the tree. Billboard-chart-topping saxophonist Phil Denny and vocalist Meagan McNeal, from Season 13 of NBC’s “The Voice,” will lead the crowd in holiday favorites for the Community Sing.
Unfortunately, due to the geothermal field installation currently taking place on the west side of the Capitol and for the safety of attendees, there will not be a fireworks display as part of this year’s Silver Bells in the City festivities. Fireworks will return as part of the festivities in 2019.
“We are very excited for another successful Silver Bells in the City,” said Mayor Andy Schor. “The construction at the Capitol will prevent us from doing fireworks this year, but we know that the parade and other activities will be fantastic!”
Friday, Nov. 16:
• The 22nd Annual Electric Light Parade steps off at 6 p.m.
• Following the parade, the State Christmas Tree will be lit accompanied by a performance by Meagan McNeal and Phil Denny.
• Silver Bells Village, sponsored by Lansing State Journal, will be located on East Allegan Street between South Washington Square and Grand Avenue and will feature a variety of vendors selling novelty toys, baked goods, Michigan-themed items and other delights.
• The 2018 Silver Bells in the City commemorative ornament is available for purchase online at www.silverbellsinthecity.org. The handcrafted ornament was made by local artist Tiffany Marie of La Fille Gallery, Lansing. The ornaments will also be available Friday, Nov. 16, at Silver Bells Village and La Fille Gallery. The cost is $20 each.
• Vocalist John Splithoff is this year’s headline performer, 8-9 p.m. at the Lansing Center. The concert is presented by Lake Trust Credit Union.
• Returning this year is the Lansing Board of Water & Light Toy Mill. Bring new, unwrapped toys and books to the corner of Ottawa and North Washington Square starting at noon, Friday, Nov. 16. All toys will be distributed to children in need through the Marine Toys for Tots Program.
• Additionally, new books will be collected at the Downtown Lansing Branch of Capital Area District Libraries.
• Come visit with Santa and his reindeer on the riverfront plaza near the Lansing Center and enjoy free cider and cookies while supplies last.
• Enjoy performances by nearly 50 regional arts and cultural organizations, school groups, storytellers, theatrical troupes, hand-bell choirs and many others around downtown.
• There’s free admission and entertainment at more than 10 downtown arts and cultural institutions, including self-guided tours of the State Capitol.
• Downtown stores and restaurants will be open late to kick-off holiday shopping and dining. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early and stay late to take in all that downtown Lansing has to offer.
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17-18:
• Brunch with Santa will be offered Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17-18, with seating at 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your children for a special brunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Troppo. Includes a digital photo with Santa, cookie decorating, writing letters to Santa, and holiday arts and crafts. Reservations can be made online at www.troppoitailiankitchen.com for $20 each. Children aged 2 and under receive free admission.
• Silver Bells 5K starts at 9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 17. This chip-timed run/walk supports Silver Bells in the City and the Chris and Louise Holman Foundation. Silver Bells 5K is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network and Dean Trailways, and is coordinated by Michigan Fitness Foundation. Register for the Silver Bells 5K at www.runsignup.com/silverbells.
For weather, traffic and/or emergency alerts for Silver Bells ONLY, sign up to receive text messages by texting “SILVERBELLS” to 888-777.