Events to kick off holiday season
This weekend's kickoff to Christmas events in Lansing will have a tasty addition from years past.
The Lansing Lions Club is sponsoring a Christmas Cookie Contest to go along with the annual Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting and the Children Light the Way parade.
Vicki Sperl, facility operator for Lansing Activity Center and a Lions Club member, said the idea for the cookie contest originated with Darlene Dean, Lansing Community Library librarian.
"Darlene and I were talking about the Children Light the Way parade, and Darlene suggested adding a cookie contest," Sperl said. "So I got with the Lions Club and suggested we host a cookie contest this year : keep it pretty straightforward and simple and see what kind of turnout we get."
Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting 2004
Scenes from the 2004 Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.
Dean, who is not a Lions Club member, said she liked cookies and "I just thought it would be a fun community event."
The Lions bit, and the cookie contest was born.
To participate, contestants are asked to bring two dozen cookies with their recipe to the Community Center between 11 a.m. and noon Saturday, Dec. 3.
Lions Club members will judge the cookies based on design and taste.
The top three winners in the cookie contest will receive ribbons and various baking supplies: baking sheets, measuring cups, spatulas, cookie cutters, Sperl said.
Cookies left over from the judging will be handed out to children making lanterns for the Children Light the Way parade that precedes the Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.
All children, sixth grade and younger, can participate in the parade by attending a crafts session from 4 p.m. to 5:35 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Lansing High School. There, they'll build lanterns for the march to City Hall, which begins about 5:40 p.m. on the west side of the high school.
At City Hall, 800 First Terrace, there will be caroling led by the Lansing High School Sound Spectrum, a flag presentation by Lansing Cub Scouts and the tree lighting, led by Mayor Kenneth Bernard. Prior to Bernard lighting the tree, about 6 p.m., the top three cookies and will be recognized at the Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting.
After the tree lighting, Lansing Girl Scouts will assist in serving cookies and hot chocolate at Lansing Community Center.
Sperl is looking to the future by requiring recipes with the entries in the cookie contest.
"As I thought about it more, I came up with the idea that we'd ask participants to include the recipe with the cookies and we could collect the recipes," she said. "Over the course of a few years, if the contest catches on, we could amass enough different types of recipes to make a Christmas cookie cookbook that we could sell as a fundraiser to support local Lions Club community-service projects. We'd include the participants' name with the recipe when the book gets published."
Other than the ingredients and time invested, participation in the cookie contest is free. And Sperl, one of the judges, says participants shouldn't worry about her sneaking in an entry.
"Oh, I'm not a very good cook," she said.