March 13 2013 12:00 AM

No shortage of holiday activities in East Lansing Saturday for Winter Glow

Friday, Nov. 30 — Jingle bells are ringing and mistletoe is hung for the city of East Lansing’s annual Winter Glow celebration. 

Starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, a wide variety of seasonal activities take place in downtown East Lansing. The best part? It’s free.

“This is a free community event to kick off the holiday season in the city of East Lansing,” said Michelle Carlson, an events assistant for the city.

Events are geared toward the entire family and include a winter carnival, heated music tent, marshmallow roasting and a reindeer petting zoo. Plus, word has it that a certain man in a red coat will make an appearance as well.

If adults don’t want to sit on Santa’s lap, they can watch the live ice carving, head out on a horse and carriage ride or visit one of the merchant tents for toasted chestnuts and hot chocolate. Also, many local businesses will host events inside their stores.

“We want to target the whole community. It’s obviously a very family-friendly event, but a lot of the events are suitable for older ages as well,” Carlson said. “This includes students from MSU, but really anyone in East Lansing.”

Many vendors from the East Lansing Farmer’s Market, as well as other Michigan vendors, will be set up for a special outdoor holiday farmers market.

Winter Glow features three musical performances in the Jingle Jam music tent. Kathleen Bolthouse will be singin’ the blues at 3 p.m., followed by Dave Samano at 4 p.m. and Rob Klajda at 5 p.m.

The final event of the night, though, is sure to please both the young and young at heart. Starting at 5 p.m., volunteers will start lighting more than 500 luminaries — small bags or boxes with lights inside — throughout downtown.

Festivalgoers can pick up a Winter Glow visitor guide at the information booth located in Fountain Square on the corner of M.A.C. and Albert avenues adjacent to the Marriott hotel. Many activities will take place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with the lighting of the luminaries from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.