Final preps begin for Silver Bells

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LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Every year Silver Bells brings tens of thousands of people to Lansing.

And with the warmer than usual weather this year that number could be well over 100,000 this year.

As you can imagine there is a lot of prep work that goes into the massive holiday event.

“I had help to drape all these lights but it’s a big enjoyment and you put a lot of pride into when you’re doing it,” says CATA mechanic Robert Torrey.

Torry has been creating CATA’s “CATA-pillar” bus for ten years now.

And he says, when it makes it’s way down the parade route tomorrow night, there’s only one thing he will be on the lookout for.

“Main thing I want to make sure of, no lights, all the lights please stay on,” laughs Torrey.

The CATA-pillar has been a staple in the Silver Bells Electric Light Parade since 2003.

And every year it draws in a lot of attention.

“They get so excited, and when the operator makes it curve and drives it from side to side, and makes it so it looks like it wiggles, that’s what the kids really enjoy,” says Sandy Draggoo, CATA CEO.

But CATA certainly isn’t alone in prepping for Friday’s big event.

“It’s a lot of hard work, 8-months of planning and a lot of coordination,” explains Mindy Biladeau, coordinator for Silver Bells in the City.

She has been working for months to get everything set for the parade, lighting of the state Christmas tree and fireworks show that follows.

Organizing volunteers is also a major part as Biladeau says more than 500 of them will donate their time to make sure it all runs smoothly.

“It’s just great to see so many people come together to celebrate the start of the holiday season.”

And now that the last light has been placed on the CATA-pillar and Silver Bells is just 24 hours away Torrey says he couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s a real big enjoyment to see what I had done.”

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