Annual holiday event continues tradition, celebrating 30 years

Hannah Snyder, Staff Writer

Winner_of_the_2012_Fantasy_of_Lights_ParadeBy Feature Editor: Hannah Snyder

After Thanksgiving the first thing in everyone’s mind is the upcoming holiday season. In Howell, The Fantasy of Lights parade is the marking of the official start of the holidays. The Fantasy of Lights event, held on Friday, Nov. 29, marks its 30th year in Howell.

The celebration is expected to be even bigger and better than previous years, expecting 30,000 people. Various events, such as art shows, musical entertainment, a 5k run to benefit local charities, and a visit from Santa Claus and his reindeer will take place.

The Fantasy of Lights Parade begins at 7 p.m. Dozens of floats and classic vehicles will be driving down Grand River. One of the signature floats this year is the First Presbyterian Church as it is celebrating 175 years of ministry.

In addition to vehicles, four horses and three canine units will be walking in the parade. Howell Public Schools has been actively participating in the parade for years. This year, the high school band, choir, and pom pon team are scheduled to perform.

“It’s amazing – even on the coldest days. Every year streets are lined with people watching the parade,” says Michelle Tokan, a Howell Area Chamber of Commerce event coordinator. Some Howell residents have never attended the event while others have never missed a year.

Regardless, this year’s celebration will be one to remember and it is encouraged that everyone comes out to join. The weather forecast is clear and dry, a perfect night to view the floats.

“It’s a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season here in Howell,” Tokan says.