Michiganders love a good celebration, especially around the holidays. While there are too many fairs, festivals, craft shows, and parades to list here, we're spotlighting ten exceptional holiday-themed events from around the state. Bundle up and make time to celebrate the season.
Kalamazoo Russian Festival ( Nov. 15,)
The 19 th annual Kalamazoo Russian Festival features a special children's activity area and includes opportunities to learn about Russian culture. This year's theme is "Russian Winter Holidays" and attendees can expect performances by musicians and dancers, an art gallery, and marketplace with unique crafts and foods.
Lansing Silver Bells in the City ( Nov. 21-23,)
Silver Bells in the City will light up the state's capitol for a fun-filled weekend. The 18 th annual Electric Light Parade takes place Friday night, followed by a community sing, the lighting of the official state Christmas tree, fireworks, and a free concert from AJR. The Silver Bells 5K , sponsored by BCBSM and BCN, gives revelers an active way to enjoy the fun on Saturday morning, and kids can enjoy breakfast with Santa Claus himself on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Grand Rapids Santa Parade ( Nov. 22,)
The Art Van Santa Parade officially kicks off the holiday season in West Michigan. BCBSM is a sponsor of the 2014 parade, which has a theme of "The Songs and Sounds of Christmas". Local marching bands, carolers, performers, and floats will make their way through downtown Grand Rapids, as they have since the parade began in the late 1800's. Of course, the man in red, Santa Claus himself, will make an appearance.
Grayling Christmas Walk ( Nov. 22,) Not a fan of parades? Grayling has you covered with the World's Shortest! Santa arrives after the parade to listen to the kiddos' Christmas lists and adults can enjoy entertainment and refreshments from local businesses, special Christmas displays, and sales.
Battle Creek International Festival of Lights ( Nov. 22 – Dec. 31)
The light displays in Cereal City over the holidays can't be missed! Besides the dazzling lights, the festival features ice carving competitions, ginger bread making events, and visits with Santa.
Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade ( Nov. 27,)
The 88 th annual America's Thanksgiving Parade will be "Walking on Sunshine" this year. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to watch this beloved parade head down Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit starting at 9 a.m. Come down early to take part in the BCBSM-sponsored Turkey Trot races. There's a Mashed Potato Mile, 5K Stuffing Strut, and the full 10K Turkey Trot, depending on how many calories you want to burn before the big meal!
Frankenmuth Holiday Celebrating and Candle Walk (Nov. 28,)
Head to Frankenmuth to cross items off your holiday shopping list at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, the world's largest store dedicated to all things Christmas. While you're there, enjoy this family-friendly evening celebration. Enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies, Christmas carols, a visit from Santa, and the official lighting of the community Christmas tree.
Pentwater Festival of Lights ( Nov. 29,)
Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas in beautiful Pentwater. Local businesses will be decked out for a Christmas decorating contest and shoppers will enjoy merchant open houses, carolers, free horse drawn carriage rides, special Christmas menus at participating restaurants, and more! A tree lighting and Santa's arrival by firetruck will capture kids' imaginations.
Marquette Winter Snow Fun Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting ( Dec. 4,)
Floats and carolers transform Marquette into a holiday wonderland. After the parade, Santa will lead the charge at the 39 th annual tree lighting ceremony. The Marquette Senior High School Redmen Chorale will perform and everyone is welcome to enjoy hot chocolate and photos with Santa and his reindeer.
Holland Sinterklaas Eve Procession (Dec. 5,)
Join Sinterklaas on a procession through Holland in a Dutch folk celebration centered around the benevolent St. Nicholas. Take part in crafts and family games before the procession and enjoy refreshments and meet Sinterklaas after.
*culled from www.ahealthiermichigan.com