While the traditional Fantasy of Lights parade is canceled this year, Livingston County residents have a new way to get into the holiday spirit
Organizers from the Howell Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority are working together to host a drive-thru holiday event in Scofield Park, Light Up Howell.
“Both organizations wanted to make sure to keep spirits up,” said Tim Church, director for the recreation authority. “This was our way of making sure a holiday event would stay in town.”
In years past HAPRA kicked off the Holiday in the Park events the first weekend in December, after the Fantasy of Lights Parade, with activities continuing until Christmas.
Janelle Best, president of the Howell Chamber. said the COVID-19 outbreak caused the chamber to reflect on what the community looks like without the traditional events such as Melon Fest and the Fantasy of Lights parade.
“We really wanted to be able to offer a community event. With all of 2020 being canceled we thought it was really important to provide something family-friendly, and draw people downtown,” she said.
The groups decided to combine resources this year to create the Light Up Howell event featuring thousands of strands of lights, an animated display set to music from Santa’s Light Crew, fun inflatables, and a reverse parade, Church said.
He said the theme this year is “Around the World,” with displays portraying “other traditional holidays that may not be prominent in Livingston County.”
Similar to this year’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow event, residents can purchase tickets for the drive-thru event taking place over 16 days. Each vehicle will need one ticket and will receive a special ornament commemorating the event.
Community-built floats will be on display for the duration of the event, built by those who usually participate in the Fantasy of Lights Parade.
The cost of $15 per vehicle will go to support the two organizations and downtown Howell.
The kickoff weekend will focus on the Fantasy of Lights Parade traditions and will feature four grand marshals. Santa will also be on-site for the opening weekend.
The event will take place Nov. 27-29, Dec. 4-6, Dec. 11-13 and Dec. 18-24.
There will are also three special event days: Nov. 27, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11, where participants will receive a bag with coupons or merchandise from local businesses and author Denise Brennan-Nelson.
To register visit: https://bit.ly/36tWohR.
Contact Kayla Daugherty at 517-552-2848 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @KayDaugherty92
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