LANSING, Mich. – The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many traditions that normally mark the holiday season. So, to bring Lansing residents a glimmer of hope, the city is providing an opportunity for families to get together in a socially distanced manner with a drive through holiday light show in Frances Park during weekends in December. As part of our series “Messages from the Mitten” WKAR’s Michelle Jokisch Polo has the story.
It’s a cold December night as hundreds of cars are lined up waiting their turn to see the glowing lights in Lansing’s Frances Park. Car windows were open and children and adults could be seen putting on their hats and gloves ready to drive through the holiday light show along Moores River Drive.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said since the beginning of December the light shows have drawn hundreds of visitors.
“The first few nights, we had many, many people that actually caused some significant traffic in the neighborhood all the way over to MLK and Waverly. So it was definitely in demand and people were really excited just to get out and see the holiday light,” he said.
Schor said it’s an opportunity to get out of the house and into the holiday spirit in a safe and socially distanced way.
“I ve heard of instances where families have kind of met up in separate cars and driven through the park together and you know, talk to each other on the phone. So it’s a way to do an activity together. But again, staying in your own bubble and staying safe and not having to worry about getting the Coronavirus.”
The holiday light show was put on by the Lansing Parks and Recreation Department. Brett Kaschinske is the department’s director. He said it took his staff several weeks to set up the thousands of lights meant to guide the drive-by visitors from the east entrance to the west entrance of the park.
“We have a lot of the trees lit up, we have a replica of the Turner-Dodge House that is also lit. We have a number of inflatables there that are lit as well as our pavilion along with the trees.”
Kaschinske hopes to make this holiday show a permanent part of Lansing holiday traditions.