Silver Bells lights up downtown Lansing, rings in holiday season
With Thanksgiving just a few days away, animal science senior Erin Jagodzinski is ready to embrace the holiday season.
She kicked off holiday festivities last weekend, starting with an event attended by more than 100,000 people from around the state — Lansing’s Silver Bells in the City.
The event on Friday evening transformed downtown Lansing with an electric light parade, high school marching bands dancing through the streets playing Christmas carols, the lighting of a 75-foot tall state Christmas tree and fireworks visible above the Capitol Building’s dome.
“This was my third time going to silver bells and I love going because it kicks of the Christmas season,” Jagodzinski said. “It’s the first day of the year that I listen to Christmas music, and I love the festivities of it.”
The event, which has been held for the past 28 years, was supported by local businesses throughout Lansing, that kept their doors open for several more hours for passers-by to peruse sales.
Fireworks go off over the Capitol during the 28th annual Silver Bells in the City celebration Nov. 16, 2012. Silver Bells in the City featured an electric light parade, Christmas tree lighting and fireworks. Natalie Kolb/The State News
Thousands of people crowd the streets of downtown Lansing during the 28th annual Silver Bells in the City celebration Nov. 16, 2012. Silver Bells in the City featured an electric light parade, Christmas tree lighting and fireworks. Natalie Kolb/The State News
Along the sidewalks near the capitol, people were shoulder to shoulder, hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus and large floats coated in Christmas lights.
MSU also had a presence at the parade, as horseback riders representing Wharton Center walked along the streets with a large banner advertising the venue’s upcoming show, War Horse.
What Up Dawg?, 317 M.A.C. Ave., also attended the festival this year with their mobile hotdog cart. General manager William Schramm said since What Up Dawg? got a license to operate their hot dog cart, they’ve been trying to attend community events such as Silver Bells.
“People are really receptive to the cart,” Schramm said while preparing hot dogs for customers. “Silver Bells is, and Oktoberfest was, amazing; we’ve been busy non-stop.”
After watching the parade and exploring booths throughout downtown Lansing, thousands gathered in front of the Capitol Building to watch the lighting of the state Christmas tree, a 75-foot Concolor Fir wrapped with red and green light strings. People stood on the lawn of the Capitol Building to countdown the lighting of the tree.
Human biology sophomore Nicky Cheung stood on the lawn watching the events unfold, and said he was not expecting so many people to participate in the festivities. This was his first time attending the Christmas festival.
“At first when I heard about it, I thought ‘We’re still over a month away from Christmas,’” Cheung said. “But now that we’re here it’s not so bad.”