Meridian Entertainment Group provides the talent buying services for one of Lansing’s premier holiday traditions — The 27th Annual Silver Bells in the City took place this past Friday on November 18th, as the the community kicked off the 2011 holiday season. Silver Bells in the City is coordinated by Downtown Lansing Inc. and has grown into what is considered to be a full blown extravaganza, with a wide range of downtown festivities, including an electric light parade, the lighting of Michigan’s official Christmas tree, a fireworks display over the capitol dome, and a high energy concert on the front steps of the state capitol. The concert is where Meridian’s involvement comes into play and it was a pleasure to be a part of something that brings so much joy to the community during this special time of year.
This year Meridian and Silver Bells in the City welcomed Australian native teen pop sensation Cody Simpson. The cold temperatures didn’t keep the fans away — spirits ran high and the turnout was incredible. It was a great change of scenery having the opportunity to work a different type of event since most of my involvement has primarily been with our fairs and festivals in warmer months of the year. This time around I traded in my tennis shoes, sunblock, and shorts for a long winter coat, boots, and instant heat hand warmers. While I had a better chance of contracting frost bite (note to self: next time wear TWO pairs of socks) over a sunburn, the pace of the day wasn’t all that different from the hurry up and wait progression of summertime fair/fest days. The hours were long beginning with a 6AM wakeup call for a full morning of media with Cody, his father, and manager. Cody and his team were absolutely great and seemed to be impressed by the fans that were out on the street by the hundreds for the first radio interview of the day at 7:30AM. Talk about dedication! About five interviews later, it was time for lunch and then soundcheck. The afternoon seemed to move along as the streets grew busier and people began to make their way to the area for the festivities that night.
Soon enough, it was time for the parade and my very first police escort. We had a float to get to! I knew in advance I would be escorting Cody on the signature sponsor, Lansing Board of Water and Light Float, but I was surprised to find that our sweet ride was none other than a Santa sleigh. Too fun! The sidewalks were packed with people as far as I could see and the speakers were playing holiday music as we made our way down the parade route with the state capitol as our final destination. Upon arrival, Cody headed to his meet & greet and I made myself helpful at the merchandise tent while the Christmas tree was lit and the fireworks ignited the sky. Unfortunately, winds were a bit high and the fireworks display was cut short, but the crowd was more than ready to sing along and dance the rest of the night away with Cody. I’ve never experienced firsthand so many screaming children and tweens. It is a high pitched, piercing sound like nothing I’ve ever heard. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to report that my ears have recovered just fine. After teardown, clean up, and final rounds of transportation, my long day of about 17 hours finally came to an end. I basically melted into my bed that night, but there’s no greater feeling of satisfaction than what I feel after completing one of these events.
I’m gaining experience and learning so much each and every time I put in these hours. I’m doing what I want to be doing, grateful for the opportunities, and truly feel like I’m accomplishing something out of the dedication and commitment. I hope everyone finds that satisfying passion in whatever it is that drives their motivation. Until next time, Silver Bells! I’m so happy to have been a part of such a special tradition that is now a part of my very own holiday traditions. Everyone I met and had the privilege of working with made the experience so memorable. Thank you all for a job well done!
That’s a wrap.
VIDEO: Cody Simpson sits down with Rob Stone at Life in Lansing for interview no. 2 the morning of Silver Bells in the City: