Village set for 10th Annual 'Light Up the Night' and Soup Cook-Off

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Children are invited to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Broad Street after the couple's arrival via fire truck, expected at approximately 5:45 p.m., until 7 p.m. on Dec. 7


BELLAIRE – Downtown Bellaire will be filled with holiday cheer during the village's 10th Annual “Light Up the Night” and Soup Cook-Off, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7.

All attending the popular Christmas celebration this year will enjoy a number of holiday events, including a parade of floats lit with colorful lights and the arrival of Santa Claus, while those lucky enough to also be in possession of tickets will enjoy a variety of homemade creations made by area chefs during the annual soup cook-off competition.

Nine restaurants from throughout the area will participate in this year's event, which will begin at 4:30 p.m.

A total of 700 tickets sold out in 10 days, according to Rachel Krino, assistant director of the Bellaire Chamber of Commerce.  

"This year, everyone who tastes soup from all of our competitors will be entered into a special drawing for one of three gift baskets valued at $180 each," Krino said earlier this week. "So everyone with tickets will want to get here early in the day so they can enjoy all of the other events in the village and still make it to all nine soup locations."

Among the eateries expected to vie for the much coveted-title of top soup chef are: The Pelican's Nest, The Lunch Box, Antrim County Commission on Aging, Corner Bistro, Toonie's Fish & Steakhouse (last year's winner offering a Pancetta With Crimini Mushrooms), Short’s Brewing Company, Terrain, the Bellaire Bar, and Shanty Creek Resorts.

To go with all that soup, Ruthann's Gourmet Bakery will be offering free bread samples from 4:30 until 7 p.m.

Krino stressed that soup tickets are not needed to attend any of the village's other holiday events that day.

"Even if you don't have a soup ticket, we will have lots of wonderful events that everyone in the family will enjoy," she said. "It will be a great day to come into our little town and enjoy all that we have."

Those events will include the Friends of the Library all-day auction; a "Last Chance" Craft Fair at the Area Seniors Activity Center; a kids' scavenger hunt (ages 14 and under) that will begin at the Bellaire Community Hall at noon with a variety of great prizes; and at 2:30 p.m., a free movie matinee  presented at the Bellaire Theater. Please bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Bellaire Food Pantry for admittance. Seating will be limited.

Also at the Bellaire Theater from 1-7 p.m. will be the Bellaire junior class annual bake sale.

Children are also invited to try their hand at making Christmas ornaments from 4-4:45 p.m. at the Community Hall, and then gather on Broad Street for community Christmas caroling. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served.

The Antrim Community Choir will join everyone for more caroling at 5 p.m.

Bellaire's Community In Action parents’ group will also host a Turkey Bowling event, featuring frozen turkeys, at Paddles and Pedals on Broad Street from 4-7 p.m. with all proceeds benefiting the Community In Action group’s student activities. Three strikes in a row win a prize!

Going on all day will be Edward Jones' annual Toys For Tots toy drive at the firm’s office, 205 N. Bridge St. in downtown Bellaire; along with a clothing, food and toy drive at Mammoth Distilling, also located downtown on Bridge Street.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the popular annual Parade of Lights escorting Santa and Mrs. Claus into town from the Bellaire Community United Methodist Church will begin. Entries for the parade must be received by noon Friday, Dec. 6 and all must be lit.

Children may visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Broad Street from the couple's arrival via fire truck, expected at approximately 5:45 p.m., until 7 p.m.

At 6 p.m., one of the most popular events, the live Nativity sponsored by the Bellaire United Community Methodist Church – complete with the three kings and several barn animals – will be held on Bridge Street for “Light Up the Night” participants to enjoy, as a reminder of the reason for the season.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at:



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