Bustle by the Bay begins in Bay City - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Bustle by the Bay begins in Bay City

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BAY CITY (WJRT) -

(12/06/12) - The first ever Bustle by the Bay is about to shine the spirit of the holiday season on Bay City.

"Well, you know what, Wenonah Park, downtown Bay City will be well lit tonight, and for the next four daysI it'll look fantastic," said Darraugh Opelski, Bustle by the Bay Executive Dir.

The Bustle is being organized by the East Bank Market, which is promising not necessarily the biggest tree downtown Bay City has ever seen, but certainly the brightest.

"You can't tell from looking at it right now, but it is absolutely spectacular. It's brilliant when it's lit up, and we have some surprises that will come along with that tree lighting ceremony, so you don't want to miss that," Opelski said.

Between now and Sunday, several appearances by Santa are planned, along with live music, food, beer and wine tastings - and yes, there will be a warming tent.

"We'll have a tacky sweater contest going on, a bunch of different silent auctions, karaoke contests, hay rides for the kids, a bonfire, movies going on," said Mark Pieniozek of Graff Bay City.

No Grinch to ruin this holiday festival, but Buddy the Elf will be here to join Santa. A portion of the proceeds from the entire weekend will benefit the Just for Kids Foundation.

"We adopt 50 to 60 families every year. We provide Christmas trees, presents for the kids, and everything for that family, even meals. We also give scholarship money away to kids, laptop computers, coats, shoes, whatever they need," Pieniozek said.

Organizers believe this new winter holiday festival can become just as big as Bay City's summertime festivals.

"This is to create family traditions for the future. That's what we've decided to do, and this will be around here for a long, long, time," Pieniozek said.

Gates open at 5, with the tree lighting ceremony and Santa's arrival at 6.

Bustle by the Bay runs through Sunday.

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