austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Mistletoe hung where you can see every couple tries to stop

Lansing rings in the holiday season with Silver Bells, which started out as a sidewalk market sort of event and grew to include a nighttime parade and the lighting of the State Tree, as time went on. bunny_hugger and I got to it last year and hoped to this year, and did; disappointing us was that her parents didn't come, because they were worried about the weather. The weather turned out to not be a problem, at least for driving: it was horribly cold but not stormy or threatening in any way.

We set out slightly late, and figured to make the time up by driving, which was stupid because everybody in the Lansing area was coming in to town. Besides the traffic jam going in which reminded us why in the past we always walked or took the bus, there was also the problem of parking. We ended up in a parking lot conveniently placed but in a spot plainly illegal, along the rim of the parking structure's interior, the part people normally drive on. There were dozens of other cars also parked along the curb that way, and we supposed they couldn't tow everybody. They didn't.

We got into place just about as the parade started. We couldn't get the front-row spots of last year, naturally, but we were able to get to a low concrete barrier on which we could stand for an extra foot of height and considerably improved view. We were also just behind the dignitaries' viewing stand, so got to see stuff like the Mayor emerging from the horse-drawn carriage bringing him in. Or at least bunny_hugger did; I was looking at the wrong carriage and missed him entirely.

It was a pretty healthy parade, running --- between floats and marching bands playing ``Rocking Around The Christmas Tree'' --- over an hour long, and just a couple times interrupted by a firework going off before the scheduled firework show time. Many of the bands, including the one from Holt that we'd seen at Cedar Point Halloweekends just a month earlier, were doing quite well, decorating their outfits with lights and in some cases even special holiday uniforms.

Trivia: During the United States Civil War, New York City brokers organized a gold trading floor called Gilpin's News Room, with access available for a $25 annual fee. It is unclear who Gilpin was. Source: An Empire Of Wealth: The Epic History Of American Economic Power, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: King of Infinite Space: Donald Coxeter, The Man Who Saved Geometry, Siobhan Roberts.


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