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This year's grand marshals have a special place in Silver Bells' history

Posted at 10:46 AM, Nov 18, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — A beloved tradition returned to downtown Lansing with the 38th annual Silver Bells in the City. FOX 47's Elle Meyers caught up with two people who have a starring role in this year's parade, and an even bigger impact on the event's past.

“How do you become a grand marshal? Well, you live long enough," said Ed Carpenter, who owns Liskey's Auto and Truck Service.

Carpenter is half of the duo that's made Silver Bells in the City a true hometown holiday.

“The first year, I called everybody in town trying to get big units and combines and tractors and cement trucks. I think we had 25 units," he said. "And then, Roger came along, and he really made it, got the bands and the fireworks.”

Silver Bells in the City got its start back in the 1980s, and now, it features an Electric Light Parade with marching bands and community floats. Roger Boettcher, the other half of the duo, is the man responsible for introducing fireworks to the already spectacular event.

“We put fireworks over the Capitol as soon as the parade went by. Santa lit the tree, boom fireworks over the Capitol, and we’ve done that ever since. Now, you walk away with a more spectacular finish," Boettcher said.

These two titans of the holiday season say their favorite part of the parade is childrens’ reaction to one very special guest.

“My train has brought Santa every year to Lansing," Carpenter said. "And they see the train, and as soon as they see Santa, man their eyes get big as basketballs and that is just such a hoot.”

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Tianna Jenkins

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