The entire city will glow with thousands of lights for the Silver Bells in the City celebration, bringing together family and friends from across the state of Michigan and beyond to kick-off the holiday season.
Silver Bells in the City is a Lansing tradition that is loved by generations of families. Silver Bells in the City attracts over 80,000 people to the Capital City each year and takes place annually on the Friday before Thanksgiving in Lansing, Michigan.
Silver Bells in the City is presented by the Lansing Board of Water and Light and the City of Lansing and is coordinated by a dedicated Coordinating Committee under the direction of Downtown Lansing Inc. Silver Bells in the City is produced with the assistance of many passionate volunteers and remains free to all through the support of almost one hundred area sponsors along with assistance from the State of Michigan and City of Lansing.
Started from humble beginnings in 1984 by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, to the full blown extravaganza the city experiences today, Silver Bells in the City has been providing fun, merriment and joy to thousands for a quarter century. Silver Bells in the City started as a modest event, enveloping the city in the holiday spirit with 2,500 luminaries that framed the Washington Square Mall. A community sing was led by Mayor Terry McKane. It wasn’t until the third year that the State Tree was lit during Silver Bells festivities.
Over the years the event grew adding more attractions including ice sculptures, carriage rides and local venues open to the public free of charge. In 1995, a small Santa Parade was introduced on Saturday morning. Two years later, the first Silver Bells Electric Light Parade dazzled onlookers on Friday night and attendance jumped significantly. Santa and his reindeer made their first appearance in 2000 at the Lansing City Market, and in 2001 fireworks lit up the sky behind the Capitol. In 2003, through a partnership with IBEW Local #665, roof top lighting was added to downtown buildings framing the city in lights for all to see.
In 2010, the torch was passed to Downtown Lansing Inc. to keep the cherished tradition that is Silver Bells in the City alive. Silver Bells in the City promises to be all that it has been and so much more. In 2010 the first Silver Bells Village will make its debut on Allegan Street. This holiday market features unique goods and artist wares from 20 vendors for those who want to get started on their holiday shopping.
Downtown cultural institutions and venues will also be open and free to the public featuring nearly 50 arts and cultural entertainers. In addition, free cookies and cider will be available at five locations throughout the city. The evening will culminate with a family-friendly concert at the Lansing Center following the fireworks over the Capitol dome.
The Electric Light Parade welcomes the holiday season in the Capital City with lighted floats and the arrival of Santa. The Electric Light Parade steps off at 6:00 pm at the corner of Lenawee and South Washington Square. Over sixty units and eleven area high school marching bands will sparkle with thousands of lights as they make their way through the streets of downtown Lansing.
The participating high school marching bands will compete for the Best Illuminated Band award during the parade. The high school band that is most well-lit will win $1,000 courtesy of the Lansing Board of Water and Light.
The parade is proudly sponsored by IBEW Local #665 and NECA and is proudly staged by the Lansing Host Lions Club.
The Silver Bells Village is the perfect place to start your holiday shopping, get some refreshments or purchase your Silver Bells commemorative ornament. The Village is made up of local vendors from throughout the state and is located on the 100 E. Block of Allegan Street between South Washington Square and Grand Avenue.
Silver Bells in the City is a family event with something for everyone. Main attractions include the Electric Light Parade, the Community Sing, lighting of the State Christmas tree, fireworks over the Capitol dome (weather permitting) and a family-friendly concert. In addition, over forty local arts and cultural groups provide entertainment for event-goers throughout the streets of downtown and at a variety of arts and cultural institutions open during the event.
Remember ringing in the holidays at Silver Bells in the City for years to come by purchasing a commemorative ornament! A Silver Bells ornament makes the perfect gift for family and friends. The ornament is produced by local artist and La Fille Gallery Owner, Tiffany Marie. Each ornament is one-of-a-kind, hand-made and signed. They are available for $20 each.
Ornaments can be purchased online while supplies last. Quantities are limited!
If you order online and choose pick-up, ornaments can be picked up at 401 S. Washington Sq. Suite 101 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.