The holiday season is a special time of year brimming with festive favorites and timeless traditions; however, even some of the most cherished customs are getting a new twist this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Silver Bells in the City has been the long-standing and beloved pre-Thanksgiving holiday kickoff in Greater Lansing for decades, but the event is taking a new focus this year — and you have front-row seats to all the excitement.
The 2020 Silver Bells in the City celebration is going virtual when it launches live Nov. 20, and guests can take in the televised treasure from the warmth and comfort of their own homes when it airs on WSYM-TV (FOX 47).
The special broadcast of Silver Bells Home Edition will include the state Christmas tree lighting, holiday singalongs, celebrity shoutouts, diverse holiday offerings and much more.
“We are happy to be putting this television program together to give so many people in the Lansing region something positive and uplifting to look forward to and a way to kick off the holiday season safely during these challenging times,” stated Scott Keith, president and CEO of the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority.
Silver Bells in the City began in 1984 by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and attracts more than 65,000 people every year. This event is now organized by LEPFA. In previous years, the event has included an electric light parade, horse-drawn sleighs, Santa and his reindeer, concerts with nationally renowned recording artists and bands, high school marching bands from across the state including the Portland High School and Eastern High School bands, and fireworks. Local and statewide businesses would also transform into the Silver Bells Village so attendees could get refreshments and an early start on holiday shopping.
This year’s event will include a fun photo collage and Santa reading letters from the North Pole. If you have fun Christmas-themed pictures or your child’s letter to Santa, submit them to silverbellshomeedition.org/submissions.
You can also let your voice be heard by participating in the Jingle Bells Song Mashup Contest. Send in a video of you and/or your family, friends or co-workers singing “Jingle Bells.” Your entry could win up to $1,000 in a cash prize and be featured as part of Silver Bells Home Edition. Visit silverbellshomeedition.org/jingle-bells-song-mash-up-contest.
Make Silver Bells Home Edition memorable for years to come. The 2020 Silver Bells commemorative ornament is available for purchase online at silverbellshomeedition.org. The handcrafted ornament is made by local artist Tiffany Marie of La Fille Gallery in Lansing. The 2020 heart-shaped ornament is inspired by the community’s #LoveLansing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is a tribute to all frontline workers, first responders and essential workers in the region. The red ornaments raining down the back are for all persons who have and are still assisting in the pandemic. Each ornament is $25.
Silver Bells Home Edition is made possible through the support of many area sponsors, including the Lansing Board of Water & Light as the presenting sponsor; and the city of Lansing, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union #665 and the Lansing chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association as gold bell sponsors. The Christmas tree lighting sponsor is Granger Waste Services. Bronze bell sponsors are Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana; Lake Trust Credit Union; M3 Group; and The Shyft Group.
Silver Bells Home Edition will air on FOX 47 from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 20. It will be rebroadcast from 8-10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26; 9-11 a.m. Nov. 27; and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Nov. 29.