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Ahead of Silver Bells in the City, electricians light up Lansing

Posted at 5:07 PM, Oct 31, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Silver Bells in the City is just around the corner, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has begun lighting up downtown Lansing.

Jim Spitz, assistant business manager of IBEW 665, has worked setting up lights for 20 years.

“You looked forward to seeing the same people every year," Spitz said. "Then at the big event, Silver Bells, you to get to see all the little kids... how happy they are. And to be able to come down and see all the lights, and the Christmas parade and just just to part of the community is great.”

But one electrician found a way to really embrace Christmas spirit while on the job.

“When I'm downtown doing Christmas lights for Silver Bells in the city, I like to be Eddie the Elf," said Ed White, a journeyman with IBEW 665.

While strapped into a safety harness, hanging far above the city, White dresses up head to toe in a green elf costume.

“I think it catches people off guard puts them in the Christmas spirit. And it is a very good icebreaker when I go into these buildings.”

Strapped into a safety harness, White hangs lights on the roof of the Louie.
Strapped into a safety harness, White hangs lights on the roof of the Louie.

White and the IBEW spend weeks climbing on top of dozens of buildings such as the Michigan Retailers Association, Davenport University and the Chase Bank building—for a total of 14,000 lights spanning two miles.

“It's nice to walk around and just see people looking up and pointing to the kids and pointing at the tree," White said. "It's just Christmas magic.”

White said the lights will be installed within the next two weeks, and shining bright for the Silver Bells in the City celebration Nov. 19.

The 14,000 lights are hung 10 inches apart.
The 14,000 lights are hung 10 inches apart.

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