Pure Michigan’s own Maria Wygnal was in downtown Lansing to celebrate Silver Bells in the City this year. Thousands attend the annual event to watch the electric light parade followed by the lighting of Michigan’s state Christmas tree and fireworks.
Silver Bells in the City is a wonderful start to the greater Lansing region’s holiday season. A visit to downtown in the afternoon lets visitors explore the many restaurants, shops, and impressive selection of arts and cultural locations before finding a perfect spot to watch the parade. A special shop not to be missed is Michigania (“The Michigan Store”) located on Washington Square, which offers a great variety of products that are either made in Michigan or about Michigan.
Silver Bells starts with an electric light parade (the 2009 parade had over 60 entries!). Crowds gather along Washington Square and Capitol Avenue to watch the entries march past. Following the parade is the lighting of Michigan’s official Christmas tree at the State Capitol and fireworks! Dress warm and don’t forget your camera. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate or coffee, but if you forget there are plenty of places to get some!!
There is more to enjoy both before and after the parade. The evening is also filled with free family entertainment including free admission to Lansing’s cultural institutions, self-guided tours of the State Capitol, visits with Santa and reindeer at the Lansing City Market, horse-drawn wagon rides on Washington Square, performances by more than 50 local arts and cultural institutions throughout downtown Lansing, extended shopping hours and more!
The holiday season gets busy… take some time for yourself to enjoy the many events and festivals happening around Michigan. If you need help planning your trip to Lansing, visit the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau, which has a new office right in downtown Lansing on Michigan Avenue across from Oldsmobile Park.
Maria Wygnal is a travel marketing specialist with Travel Michigan/Michigan Economic Development Corp. She grew up in the greater Lansing area and currently resides in East Lansing. Her interests include travel, social media, graphic design and photography. Feel free to contact Maria via Twitter, or by leaving a comment below.