Silver Bells in the City – That’s a lot of lights!

bowl_of_bulbsEvery year for the past 29 years, the city of Lansing has held the Silver Bells in the City event to celebrate the holiday season. This year is no exception with Silver Bells in the City taking place on Friday, November 22nd. Downtown Lansing will be bustling as the holiday season comes to life once again.

While the event started with modest beginnings, it has continued to grow in the years since its inception into the full-blown extravaganza that it is today. Silver Bells in the City loads up on holiday cheer: parades, Santa and his reindeer, concerts and entertainment, a tree lighting, a holiday market full of artists and other unique wares, a 3-mile Fun Run, fireworks and lots and lots of lights.

Did I mention there are lots of lights?

So many lights in fact, that it’s one man’s job to prepare them weeks before Silver Bells even kicks off. That gentleman, electrician Jim Spitz, has been tending to the lights along the rooftops of the buildings that line the streets of downtown Lansing since 1996. Jim installs, repairs, replaces, and sets the timers for the lights on each and every building included in Silver Bells in the City.

When Jim took over the lighting duties, just a few buildings were lit up during Silver Bells. In the years since more and more buildings, and by extension more and more lights, have been added. Now, the buildings along the entire Electric Light Parade route are illuminated, something Jim estimates involves 35,000-40,000 feet of lights covering over 100 buildings in the downtown area. It takes him over 400 hundred hours over the course of several weeks to complete the project every year.

Watch as we follow Jim while he tends to the lights atop the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan/Blue Care Network building in downtown Lansing.


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Photo credit: Pen Waggener


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