Winter in Michigan city is a very festive time of the year. As the weather begins to get colder and the lake-effect snow begins to powder the rooftops, a spirit sweeps over the city that can not be found in any other season. The holidays are coming, and regardless of one’s religion or celebratory habits there will soon be ample time for spending with loved ones and participating in the recreational activities that the cold weather brings with it.
One of the most popular activities during the holidays in Michigan City is going to see the Christmas lights that are annually put on display at the Washington Park Festival of Lights. Containing everything from the popular dancing flower lights to the most obscure candle, the whole display accommodates over five million individual bulbs.
“The dancing flower lights were my favorite display when I was younger my family made it a tradition to get ice cream and then go see the lights,” said junior, Tyler Siegmund.
The lights which are on from 4:30 P.M. to 12:00 A.M. every day until early January have become a staple in Michigan City’s Christmas tradition. The Washington Park Festival of Lights was voted by the American Bus Association as one of the top 100 events in North America.
Going to the lights however isn’t the only winter tradition that can be found in Michigan City. With a very diverse community, there are many different ways that the holidays are celebrated.
Sophia Verduzco, a junior at MCHS talked about how her family incorporates their Mexican heritage into celebrating every Christmas. “My sisters, cousins, and I go to my grandma’s the day before Christmas Eve to make tamales. We make an assortment of flavors usually 25-50 of pork, chile con queso, and sweet pink ones with pineapple and raisins. You aren’t allowed to go outside while they are steaming because some superstition says they won’t cook properly,” she said.
“My whole family gets together on Christmas Eve and we eat tostadas, tamales, and pozole. We open our gifts from our tios (aunts and uncles) and play white elephant with the adults. We open the gifts from our parents at midnight. The next day we have a big breakfast at my mom’s.”