Runners wearing holiday-themed costumes take part in last year's Silver Bells 5K Run.

Why You Should Dress Up for Lansing’s Silver Bells 5K Run

Planning to run or walk this year’s Silver Bells 5K?

You could just wear your normal cold weather gear, or you could add a little jingle to your step and break out your most festive apparel to inspire holiday cheer – and possibly win prizes!

The race is part of the 33rd annual Silver Bells in the City, which arrives in downtown Lansing on Friday, Nov. 17. The entire city glows during the Electric Light Parade on Friday night, while the Silver Bells Village is a great place to get your holiday shopping started. Santa will make an appearance during the parade and at special breakfast events planned for Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The race on Saturday morning gives you the perfect opportunity to have a fun, festive time while keeping your commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle. Choose one of two costume categories, classic Christmas or most creative, and start scouring your closet, holiday décor or local craft shop to perfect your look.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, in collaboration with the National Management Association, is providing volunteers to serve as costume contest judges. Leading the effort is Kelli Corner, a senior analyst with Blue Cross, and Jennifer Pakkala, an instructional technology specialist with Blue Cross and the communications chair and vice president of administration for the Lansing NMA chapter.

Pakkala has volunteered as a course marshal at past Silver Bells 5Ks and said the sky is truly the limit when it comes to costumes. Tutus, bling, ugly Christmas sweaters, and dressing as your favorite holiday character are all acceptable. Dress comfortably for the weather and make sure your adornments don’t interfere with your footwear as the course can be slippery depending on the temperature and weather.

As for any tips to sway the judges’ vote? Pakkala said volunteers will judge all entrants with an open mind, selecting winners that stand out.

“We’ll know it when we see it,” Pakkala said.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three costumes in each category and Corner and Pakkala said there will likely be a lot of gift cards in the mix. As for the overall festivities, both say it’s a family-friendly Lansing tradition that ushers in the season.

“The community really looks forward to it every year,” Corner said. “It’s a really nice way to start the holiday season.”

Whether you wrap yourself in ribbons and bows for the race or say “bah-humbug” to wearing a costume, plan to register and take part as a healthy kickoff to your holidays.

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Photo credit: Silver Bells

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