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EVENT DESCRIPTION/DETAILS:

Step back in time as you take part in one of Michigan’s most unique holiday celebrations.  An entire weekend of excitement including the Victorian Sleighbell Parade with horse drawn entries, bagpipers, reindeer meet and greet and carolers elegantly dressed in Victorian style attire.  The highlights of the parade are the draft horses pulling a 30 foot Christmas tree down River Street followed by a beautiful display of fireworks.  The entire Old Christmas Weekend is filled with lovely events including Festival of Trees, ‘A Christmas Story’ at the Historic Ramsdell Theatre and guided tours of the historic 1894 Lumber Baron Mansion, which now houses the Dempsey Manor Bed and Breakfast Inn and Victorian Tea Room. Manistee is a wonderful place to pick up gifts for everyone on your list, catch a show at the recently renovated Vogue Theatre or simply enjoy the magical experience of the beautifully decorated historic Downtown.  



Watch LIVE - Victorian Sleighbell Parade:


Beginning November 1st, Douglas Valley Downtown will be selling Sleighbell White and Red wine for $19.95.

2016 Parade Entry Form: Here
Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend Facebook

Special Events for 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Manistee County Historical Museum, 10am – 5 p.m.
Manistee County Historical Museum, 425 River Street

Christmas Cookie & Wine Pairing, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Douglas Valley Downtown, 431 River Street
Milk and cookies are child's play? How about pairing your favorite Christmas cookie with wine? Now that's a treat even Santa would approve. $10 per person


Tour the James Dempsey Mansion, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm (on the hour)
James Dempsey Mansion, 506 Maple Street
Enjoy a guided tour of this historic 1894 Lumber Baron Mansion, which now houses the Dempsey Manor Bed and Breakfast Inn and Victorian Tea Room.  You'll see the mansion's marvelous Neo-French Renaissance architecture, exquisite period furniture, artwork and decorative items.  You'll also meet James and Mary Dempsey, two of Manistee's most prominent Victorian-era residents.  Reserve at (616) 802-4588.  Per person admission $12 in advance / $18 at the door.  For a preview, visit www.dempseymanorbandb.com 

Chamber Business After Hours, 6 – 8 p.m.
Ramsdell Theatre Ballroom, 101 Maple Street
Held in the beautiful Ballroom of the Historic Ramsdell Theatre.  Business after Hours is a special opportunity to preview the Festival of Trees with delicious hors d'oeuvres and holiday music.  A cash bar will also be available.  This event is open the Chamber members, business professionals and the community. 
Business After Hours is SPONSORED BY SHELBY STATE BANK.
Open to the Public - $10


Manistee Choral Society's Annual Victorian Concert, 7 p.m.
Faith Covenant Church, 475 8th Street
Advance Tickets Required $10, tickets available at 231.398.0296 or Goody's


Friday, December 2, 2016 

Manistee County Historical Museum, 10am – 7 p.m.
Manistee County Historical Museum, 425 River Street

Christmas Cookie & Wine Pairing, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Douglas Valley Downtown, 431 River Street
Milk and cookies are child's play? How about pairing your favorite Christmas cookie with wine? Now that's a treat even Santa would approve. $10 per person


Cookie Fun for Everyone, Cookie Decorating, 1pm – 6 p.m.
United Methodist Church, 387 First Street
$6 Half dozen and $10 Dozen

Sleighbell Warming Tent, 2pm – 7 p.m.
Oak and River Street
Douglas Valley selling hot chocolate, coffee and mulled wine/cider. Sponsored by Family Fare.

Tours of the Historic Ramsdell Theatre, 1 – 4 p.m.
101 Maple Street 
$5 Admission

Festival of Trees, 1 – 8 p.m.
Ramsdell Theatre Ballroom, 101 Maple Street
Creatively decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, tabletop items and other seasonal decor designed by local holiday enthusiasts.  Be ready to bid on these lovely holiday treasures, decorated by area schools, community organizations and businesses.  Bring a "Toys for Tots" donation for a chance to win a child's bike, drawing on Sunday at 1pm.  Bids close at 1 pm and pick up is from 1 pm – 3 pm on December 6. Free Admission.

Tour the James Dempsey Mansion, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm (on the hour)
James Dempsey Mansion, 506 Maple Street
Enjoy a guided tour of this historic 1894 Lumber Baron Mansion, which now houses the Dempsey Manor Bed and Breakfast Inn and Victorian Tea Room.  You'll see the mansion's marvelous Neo-French Renaissance architecture, exquisite period furniture, artwork and decorative items.  You'll also meet James and Mary Dempsey, two of Manistee's most prominent Victorian-era residents.  Reserve at (616) 802-4588.  Per person admission $12 in advance / $18 at the door.  For a preview, visit 
www.dempseymanorbandb.com 

Brass Ensembles, 5 p.m.
390 River Street

Downtown Manistee Soup Cook-off, 4 – 6:30 p.m.
Results 7 p.m. Location TBD
SPONSORED BY THE IDEAL KITCHEN

A Christmas Story, 7:30 p.m.
Ramsdell Theatre, 101 Maple Street
Purchase Tickets online at www.manisteecivicplayers.org or call 800.836.0717
SPONSORED BY THE MANISTEE CIVIC PLAYERS

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jingle Bell Jog 5K Run/Walk, 10 a.m.
Kennedy Elementary School, 550 Maple Street 
Registration $17 before Thanksgiving, $22 on race day, all entrants receive a t-shirt or a hat.
Proceeds go to Manistee Schools Cross-Country Program. For more information: runmanistee.blogspot.com


Sleighbell Bazaar and Craft Show, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Manistee High School , 525 12th Street 
Vendor booths are full, for 2016 vendor registration please contact Gerri at 231.477.5646

Manistee Historical Museum, 10am – 8 p.m.
Manistee County Historical Museum, 425 River Street

Cookie Fun for Everyone, Cookie Decorating, 10a.m. – 3p.m.
United Methodist Church, 387 First Street 
$6 half dozen; $10 dozen

Carriage Rides Down River Street, 12pm - 4pm
356 River Street
Free Admission, First Come - First Serve
Carriage rides will be provided by a Team of Percherons with a white carriage and a team of Clydesdale Hackney Pony Cross with a white carriage provided by the Common Gentry Carriage Co.
SPONSORED BY MATT KNIZACKY INSURANCE & WATSONS MANISTEE CHRYSLER


Historic Tour of St. Paul's Lutheran Church,  12 – 2 p.m.
313 Fourth Street
Free Hot Chocolate and Kids Crafts 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Magic Flute,  12:55 p.m.
Ramsdell Theatre, 101 Maple Street
The groundbreaking broadcast that launched the Met's award-winning Live in HD series to movie theaters in 2006, The Magic Flute enchanted opera lovers from around the world with the whimsical humor and breathtaking puppetry of Julie Taymor's hit production, presented in a shortened English-language version. Purchase tickets online at MyNorthTickets.com or call 1.800.836.0717

Festival of Trees, 1 – 8 p.m.
Ramsdell Theatre Ballroom, 101 Maple Street
Creatively decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, tabletop items and other seasonal decor designed by local holiday enthusiasts.  Be ready to bid on these lovely holiday treasures, decorated by area schools, community organizations and businesses.  Bring a "Toys for Tots" donation for a chance to win a child's bike, drawing on Sunday at 1pm.  Bids close at 1 pm and pick up is from 1 pm – 3 pm on December 6. Free Admission.

Tour the James Dempsey Mansion, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm (on the hour)
James Dempsey Mansion, 506 Maple Street
Enjoy a guided tour of this historic 1894 Lumber Baron Mansion, which now houses the Dempsey Manor Bed and Breakfast Inn and Victorian Tea Room.  You'll see the mansion's marvelous Neo-French Renaissance architecture, exquisite period furniture, artwork and decorative items.  You'll also meet James and Mary Dempsey, two of Manistee's most prominent Victorian-era residents.  Reserve at (616) 802-4588.  Per person admission $12 in advance / $18 at the door.  For a preview, visit 
www.dempseymanorbandb.com 

Brass Ensemble, 1:30 p.m.
390 River Street

Christmas Tea at the Buckley, 2 - 4 p.m.
450 Cedar Street
Enjoy a lavish Christmas tea in the third-floor ballroom of one of Manistee's premier Victorian homes. Three full courses will be served in a relaxing and charming atmosphere, with a tour of this beautiful residence after the meal. Reservations must be made by Tuesday, December 1st by calling 231 398-2561. $35.00 per person. 

Santa's Headquarters, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Manistee Municipal Marina, 480 River Street
Santa himself will be there for photo ops and to receive Christmas lists from all the good girls and boys. Complimentary balloons provided by Mr. Don Olszewski the balloon man and face painting by Debbie Tiefenthal. Also enjoy the balancing talents of an elf on stilts.
Sponsored by Century 21 Boardwalk & The Outpost of Manistee

Sleighbell Warming Tent, 2 – 8 p.m.
Sponsored by Family Fare
Corner of River & Oak Street
Looking for a place to warm up during Sleighbell Weekend?  Come down to the new Warming Tent located at the corner of River Street and Oak Street.  Douglas Valley will be providing hot cider, hot chocolate, wine hard cider and coffee in a warm tent just beside their new tasting room on River Street. Free Admission.

Sponsored by Family Fare

Jingle Mingle, 4:30 p.m. 
Ramsdell Inn, 399 River Street
$50 includes samplings of local appetizers, desserts, wines and beers. Tickets are limited to 50 people.  Please call 231.398.7901 for tickets. 

Roasted Chestnuts, 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Downtown Manistee on River Street
Sponsored by Kendra Thompson Architects, PC

Grinder Gordie Street Organ with an Austrian Busker Organ and German Concertina, Time TBD.
Location TBD
Free Event


Merry Trombones, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
390 River Street

Victorian Sleighbell Parade, 5:30 p.m.
River Street – Downtown Manistee | The Parade will be broadcast 'live' thanks to sponsorship from Little River Casino & Resort.



Fireworks – Immediately Following Parade 
Near the Fountain on River Street

A Christmas Story, 7:30 p.m.
Ramsdell Theatre, 101 Maple Street
Purchase tickets online at www.manisteecivicplayers.org or call 800.836.0717


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Manistee County Historical Museum, 10am – 4 p.m.
Manistee County Historical Museum, 425 River Street

Traditional Swedish Brunch & Worship Service, 10 a.m. Service – 11 a.m. Brunch
Portage Lake Bible Camp, 4158 Camp Delight Rd. Onekama
$10 Adults, $5 five and under, Please RSVP at 231.889.5911

First Congregational Church, 10 a.m. Service
First Congregational Church, 412 4th Street
Traditional Victorian Worship Service.  

Festival of Trees, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Ramsdell Theatre Ballroom, 101 Maple Street
This is your final chance to bid on your favorite holiday items.  Bids close at 1pm today, winning bidders must pick up their items immediately after the bids close.  Free admission.

Tour the James Dempsey Mansion, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm (on the hour)
James Dempsey Mansion, 506 Maple Street
Enjoy a guided tour of this historic 1894 Lumber Baron Mansion, which now houses the Dempsey Manor Bed and Breakfast Inn and Victorian Tea Room.  You'll see the mansion's marvelous Neo-French Renaissance architecture, exquisite period furniture, artwork and decorative items.  You'll also meet James and Mary Dempsey, two of Manistee's most prominent Victorian-era residents.  Reserve at (616) 802-4588.  Per person admission $12 in advance / $18 at the door.  For a preview, visit 
www.dempseymanorbandb.com 

A Christmas Story, 2:00 p.m.
Ramsdell Theatre, 101 Maple Street
Purchase Tickets online at www.manisteecivicplayers.org or call 800.836.0717
SPONSORED BY THE MANISTEE CIVIC PLAYERS

Lessons and Carols, 3:00 p.m.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 420 Oak Street
Music, singing and bible readings



VIEW THE 2014 PARADE VIDEO BELOW (3 PARTS)

Sleighbell Parade - Part 1

Sleighbell Parade - Part 2

Sleighbell Parade - Part 3