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Wednesday, November 16,2011

Silver jubilee

Silver Bells in the City rings in holiday season for downtown Lansing

by Jon James

Hear the sledges with the bells — 


Silver bells!


What a world of merriment their melody foretells!


How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,


In the icy air of night!


 — Edgar Allen Poe, "The Bells"




Silver Bells in the City had humble beginnings, according
to coordinator Mindy Biladeau, who says it started “with a few people
singing Christmas carols around the state Christmas tree.” On the third
year, the lighting of the state Christmas tree was incorporated into
the event. It has grown consistently since then to become the festival
it is today.


The 27th annual Silver Bells takes place Friday.


Millions of lights are lit for the occasion, and events
are held at the City Market, the downtown library, the Capitol, the
CATA station, and many other venues.


“(There is a) holiday arts and crafts
market, with lots of crafts and goodies and food, with some extra stuff
for kids new this year,” Biladeau said. The Silver Bells Village
features vendors selling a variety of unique wares, including homemade
foods, hand-crafted items, and Michigan-made products. The annual,
limited-edition commemorative Silver Bells ornament is also available
at the Village.


Headlining this year’s Silver Bells is Radio Disney
favorite Cody Simpson, whose “Coast to Coast” CD reached Number 12 on
the Billboard album chart earlier this year.


Children can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at the City
Market, and have a Saturday morning breakfast with Santa at Troppo.
Children are also invited to join Radio Disney’s Road Crew for dancing
and singing on the Capitol steps.


New this year is the Silver Bells Fun Run, a nearly 5k
run that takes participants around the route of the Electric Light
Parade, which follows the run. The parade includes dozens of floats,
marchers and other entries, and will involve a derby team, marching
bands and the Lansing Fire Department.


The parade is followed by the lighting of the State
Christmas tree at the steps of the Capitol. Finally — weather
permitting — the grand finale will come in the form of fireworks over
the Capitol building.


Parking is available for free after 5 p.m. on all city
lots, city parking ramps and on-street, and attendees are encouraged to
utilize CATA shuttles.


Silver Bells in the City


Friday, Nov. 18


Downtown Lansing


Free


(517) 487-3322


silverbellsinthecity.org

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