Manistee's Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend

December 1-4, 2016

When the Christmas season is upon us, the Victorian city of Manistee kicks off the festivities in a big way, with its annual Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend. This popular event brings as many as 10,000 visitors to Manistee to experience the wonder of a Christmas gone by. The highlight of the parade is the Belgian draft horses that pulls a 30' Christmas tree down River Street in downtown Manistee.

sleigh
The entire Old Christmas Weekend is filled with wonderful activities, including the Gingerbread House contest, Festival of Trees, and guided tours of Babcock House, a grand lumberman's mansion.
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Bungalow inn Manistee
Manistee is a great place to pick up those gifts for everyone on your list, and downtown restaurants welcome you into their cozy establishments for a delicious meal. As the snow flies, enjoy the carolers, decked out in period dresses, coats, and top hats. It's certainly the right setting to put you in a festive holiday mood.

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The main feature of the Old Christmas Weekend is the Victorian Sleighbell Parade at 5:30pm on Saturday.


Get downtown early to enjoy hot cider at 4pm and roasted chestnuts at 4:30. It's also your chance to get a look at the Kiwanis Cops that mingle downtown. The Sleighbell Parade, complete with horse-drawn Christmas tree, is filled with the old-fashioned nostalgia of Christmases gone by. It's truly a don't miss highlight of the holiday season to share with family and friends.

christmas folk
For the holiday season, make sure you include Manistee's Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend in your plans.
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TJs Pub & Ramsdell Inn
If you are traveling from outside the area, check out Manistee lodging facilities for a great place to stay, and Manistee restaurants for your dining options.

Old Christmas Festival Highlights from 2015


Thursday, December 3
  • A Lilliputian Christmas, 10am-5pm, Manistee County Historical Museum.
  • Tour the James Dempsey Mansion 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 506 Maple Street.
  • Chamber Business After Hours, 6pm-8pm, Ramsdell Theatre Ballroom.
  • Manistee Choral Society Annual Victorian Dessert Concert, 7pm, Faith Covenant Church.

Friday, December 4
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The Painted Lady Saloon
  • A Lilliputian Christmas, 10am-7pm, Manistee County Historical Museum.
  • Cookie Fun for Everyone, 11am-8pm, Manistee Inn & Marina.
  • Tours of Historic Ramsdell Theatre, 1pm-4pm.
  • Festival of Trees, 1pm-8pm, Ramsdell Theatre Ballroom.
  • Tour the James Dempsey Mansion, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 506 Maple Street.
  • For the Love of Children & Chocolate Sleighbell Chocolate Shop, 3pm-7pm, 318 River Street.
  • Downtown Manistee Soup Cook-off, 4pm-6:30pm. Results at 7pm at location TBD.
  • Brass Ensembles, 6pm, 390 River Street.
  • "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat", 7:30pm, Ramsdell Theatre.

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Saturday, December 5
  • Reindeer Meet and Greet, time & location TBD.
  • Jingle Bell Jog 5k run/walk, 10am, Kennedy Elementary School.
  • Sleighbell Bazaar and Craft Show, 9am-4pm, Manistee High School.
  • A Lilliputian Christmas, 10am-8pm, Manistee County Historical Museum.
  • Lumberjack Luncheon, Cookie Decorating, 11am-1pm, First Congregational Church.
  • Cookie Fun for Everyone, 11am-8pm, Manistee Inn & Marina.
  • Carriage Rides down River Street, 12pm-4pm.
  • For the Love of Children & Chocolate Sleighbell Chocolate Shop, 12pm-7pm, 318 River Street.
  • Historic Tour of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 12pm-2pm.
  • Tours of Historic Ramsdell Theatre, 1pm-4pm.
  • Festival of Trees, 1pm-8pm, Ramsdell Theatre Ballroom.
  • Tour the James Dempsey Mansion, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 506 Maple Street.
  • Brass Ensembles, 1:30pm, 390 River Street.
  • Christmas Tea at the Buckley, 2pm-4pm, 450 Cedar Street.
  • Jingle Mingle, 4:30pm, Ramsdell Inn.
  • Grinder Gordie Street Organ, time & location TBD.
  • Merry Trombones, 4:30pm, 390 River Street.
  • Victorian Sleighbell parade, 5:30pm, River Street. Fireworks follow.
  • Jingle Bell Jam Concert, doors open at 6:30pm; concert starts at 7pm, Manistee Eagles Aerie #1675.
  • "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat", 7:30pm, Ramsdell Theatre.

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Sunday, December 6
  • A Lilliputian Christmas, 10am-4pm, Manistee County Historical Museum.
  • Traditional Swedish Brunch and Worship Service, 10am, Portage Lake Bible Camp.
  • Festival of Trees, 11am-1pm, Ramsdell Theatre Ballroom.
  • Tour the James Dempsey Mansion, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 506 Maple Street.
  • "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat", 2pm, Ramsdell Theatre.
  • Lessons & Carols, 3pm, Trinity Lutheran Church.
  • Merry Trombones, 3:30pm, River Street.

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Events are listed according to the information available at the time of the most recent update to this story. The schedule is subject to change. For the complete schedule and updated information, please see
Visit Manistee/Sleighbell Festival.


Enjoy the holidays in Manistee, Michigan!

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Starting to decorate for the holidays? It's a great time to find a Fresh Christmas Tree for your home!



More Holiday Information in West Michigan...



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For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:


Ludington Activities & Things to Do -- Play on a beautiful beach, take a tour at Historic White Pine Village, or explore the barn quilt trail, murals or sculptures in the county--Ludington offers many fun things to do for the entire family!
Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and river walk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbor town village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe rentals.

Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced WestMichigan.MichBiz.com for our largest lists of Things to Do in West Michigan.
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Last Updated: 12-08-2015 09:39 AM ID: 308