MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – Muskegon Heights is shimmering with thousands of lights this holiday season thanks to a decoration donation drive.
Michelle Tyson and Kellie Kitchen organized the Let’s Glitter and Shine Muskegon Heights effort to deck out downtown streets including Peck Street, Broadway Avenue and Baker Street with holiday cheer.
“This is a moment that I can truly say that I will never forget this Christmas,” Tyson said. “This Christmas is one of the best Christmases.”
Tyson and Kitchen launched the drive in late November to bring a festive spirit back to Muskegon Heights after years without decorations.
Donations poured in, including 10,000 lights from Meijer, 3,000 from Roosevelt Park, 2,000 from the city of Muskegon and strands of bulbs from residents.
Tyson and a team of volunteers from Taking Back Muskegon, a nonprofit organization that provides mentorship for local youth, started decorating on Dec. 3 — stringing lights up around poles, trees and Rowan Park.
“The feedback is great,” Tyson said about the community response. “They said it’s been a long time coming.”
Related: Taking Back Muskegon aims to curb violence through youth programs and change the city’s image, tone
Two local women also donated a Christmas tree on behalf on their daughters who passed away, Tyson said.
Set up at Rowan Park, 2801 Baker St., the tree will be the site of a community-wide memorial on Thursday, Dec. 23 at 5 p.m.
“Since this is the first actual lighting and Christmas spirit in downtown Muskegon Heights for a long time and COVID has taken a toll on a lot of our residents and families here, we wanted to give everybody the chance to say goodbye,” Tyson said.
Taking Back Muskegon is still collecting donations and plans to use them next year. Anyone interested in giving lights to Let’s Glitter and Shine Muskegon Heights can reach out to the organization on Facebook or send an email to [email protected]
“We want it to be bigger than this year, Tyson said. “We’re just going to keep on going.”
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