“Tinsel Treats & Trolleys” Brings Holiday Spirit to Ada

“Tinsel Treats & Trolleys,” Ada’s annual December event, is sure to get you into the holiday spirit. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the trolley stops, events, and parade information, as well as tips for around town.

Ushering in the holiday season, “Tinsel Treats & Trolleys” is my favorite annual event in Ada. Held in downtown Ada (the event takes place on Friday, December 5, this year), it begins with the lighting ceremony at the historic covered bridge. At 5:30 p.m., the lights are turned on, the carolers begin to sing, and the downtown area is filled with holiday spirit. There’s something magical about the combination of the crisp cold and those beautiful lights.

Family fun at

After the bridge lighting, the entire village is transformed with luminaries lining the streets of downtown. Local businesses stay open late and provide hot beverages and treats. Ada’s The Community church has live musical performances in the narthex all evening. The sanctuary of the church is turned into a family fun room with kids crafts, balloon animals, and candy stations. The fire station will be having bonfires and s’mores. The Ada Pour House is offering food and drink specials.

Smores at

Arts and crafts at

Still want more holiday spirit? The festivities continue with the holiday parade the following day. On Saturday morning, the parade starts at 11 a.m. The route begins in the Thornapple Village Shopping Center and proceeds to the fire station. It’s always an entertaining parade, and the kids really enjoy it. Make sure to bring something to collect all the candy in — the Ada parades always have a ton of candy! Santa will be available for photos, hot chocolate, and cookies at the fire station afterward.

Santa and elf at

Immediately following the parade, the Community is hosting the event’s first-ever International Chili Society–endorsed chili cook-off. If you think your chili is the best in town, make sure to enter! (The deadline to enter is December 1.) Tickets are available at the event to taste the yummy entries, as well as … BEER! New Holland Brewing Company and Gravel Bottom Brewery will be selling their finest at the event; in addition to the local craft beers, there will be food from local eateries, as well as milk and cookies for the younger crowd. Live music by West Michigan cover band Agent 87 will keep the crowd tapping their toes. The chili cook-off goes until 1:30 p.m.

If you’re a Grand Rapids homeowner and you’ve never attended this fun event, I would highly encourage it. The kids and I make this our official “kickoff” to the holiday season.

Photos courtesy of the “Tinsel Treats & Trolleys,” the Radel family, and the Cummings family.


Kindell is married to her wonderful husband Troy and is a mom to two beautiful little girls. They love spending time together with their two very fat, lazy cats.

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