For 35 years Michigan’s capital city has taken the Friday evening before Thanksgiving and ushered in the holiday season with great fanfare during Silver Bells in the City. What began in 1984 as a community sing-a-long has grown to be one of the most favorite nights of the year for Lansing residents, visitors and friends. Plan on gathering with family and friends and enjoying the whole evening. 

This year's Silver Bells is on Friday, November 22, 2019 and is rocking an '80's theme. The main components will remain the same with the electric light parade, the lighting of Michigan's Christmas tree and returning this year is the beautiful fireworks show behind the Capitol dome. But there’s so much more to delight in. Check out the brochure for over 20 activities occurring throughout the downtown including happenings at Lansing City Hall, the Michigan Library and Historical Center, CADL Downtown Lansing, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Lansing Art Gallery, Lansing Central United Methodist Church, LCC, La Fille Gallery, Impression 5 Science Center, the State Capitol Building and more. 

1. The Electric Light Parade (steps off at 6 p.m.)

Silver Bells fire truck

This parade is so much fun. Over 80 floats with a minimum of 5,000 lights on each entry and 10 high school marching bands travel north on Washington Square and then south on Capitol Avenue through the heart of downtown Lansing pausing in front of the State Capitol Building. Returning favorites are the Petoskey Steel Drum Band float which was a crowd favorite last year and the CATA-pillar bus. The parade is a sight to behold, delighting people of every age. Look for the Grand Marshall float with the 1984 World Series Detroit Tigers players Dan Petry and David Rosema. They'll be joined by the Tiger mascot, Paws.  

2. Community Sing (approx. 7:35 p.m.)

Ben Sharkey 2

A Motor City favorite and Woodward Avenue Records recording artist Ben Sharkey will lead the crowd in some holiday favorites. His smooth, sultry melodic voice will help us all sing in the holiday season. We're guessing that Silver Bells will definitely be on the list.

3. Light Up the Tree! (approx.. 7:35 p.m.)

State Christmas Tree

With a suspenseful countdown, Michigan’s official Christmas Tree will be lit up. The 33rd state tree, a blue spruce from Iron Mountain Michigan is decorated with thousands of lights and becomes the seasonal beacon down Michigan Avenue to the heart of downtown Lansing. The lights come on at dusk and will be lit throughout the holidays to make the perfect backdrop for your family Christmas photos. 

4. Fireworks! (Following the tree lighting 7:45 weather permitting)

Capitol Fireworks

After a brief respite due to construction surrounding the Capitol, the fireworks show is back! You don't want to miss this gorgeous display that appears to be cascading behind the State Capitol dome. It's a sight to behold.

5. Mega 80's (8:00 p.m. Lansing Center)

Mega 80

To go along with the retro theme,  the fun band Mega 80s will perform at the Lansing Center. This is promising to be a great show with all kinds of hits from that decade. Devo anyone?

And there’s MORE. So much more. Find the Silver Bells Village on Allegan Street, craft activities, caricaturists, clowns, choirs, hand bells and superheroes. Don’t forget the jolly man himself Santa Claus with the Missus and reindeer too, at Riverfront Plaza just outside the Lansing Center.

Then stick around for Saturday or Sunday's Brunch with Santa. Make Silver Bells In The City a part of YOUR family tradition. For all the information you need, visit

Photos courtesy of LEPFA (Silver Bells) and GLCVB