It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when thousands gather in downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park to rock around the Christmas tree for a tree lighting like no other.
Come celebrate the start of the holiday season at the 15th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by the DTE Energy Foundation and the Downtown Detroit Partnership. The tree-lighting spectacular will be November 16, from 5:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET in Campus Martius Park (800 Woodward). Be sure to arrive early. With over 50,000 people expected and more than 19,000 LED lights coming to life, it’s sure to be anything but a silent night.
Standing at 60 feet, this year’s tree is a Norway spruce taken from a Plymouth family’s front yard. In previous years, the tree has been taken from a tree farm in Cadillac, Michigan.
One of the performances will feature a voice many Detroiters will find familiar. Headlining the ceremony is Cece Winans, a Detroit native and 12-time Grammy-winning gospel artist. Ice-skating duo Maia and Alex Shibutani also are set to perform. The siblings won a bronze medal during the 2017 Olympics. There will also be performances by jazz group Ben Sharkey and The Woodward Horns, the Michigan Opera Theater and local figure skating clubs.
The fun does not stop at Campus Martius. For the second year, Beacon Park is hosting events during the Tree Lighting Ceremony. To keep visitors from missing the action at Campus Martius, Light Up Beacon Park will have a live stream of the tree lighting and performances.
With its own live performances by local rock group Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers and singer Nadir Omowale, a visit from St. Nicholas and a winter wonderland light installment, Light Up Beacon Park also serves another stop on the Polar Express. To help you navigate between the events, there will be free shuttles between Campus Martius and Beacon Park from 4:30 p.m. until midnight. Pickup locations will be Michigan and Griswold and First and Plaza. The Q-Line will also be operational, for those hoping to better explore downtown. For a more romantic feel, you can see Detroit from the inside of a horse-drawn carriage. Carriage rides are available for $10 per person or $40 for a private ride.
Beacon Park’s Lumen restaurant will be open for business. There will also be plenty of food trucks, as well as a bar inside the heated Winter Lodge Tent.
End the night with a little shopping at the Downtown Detroit Markets. In addition to returning vendors from last year, more than 20 new vendors have joined the initiative to bring awareness to local businesses. Among them are:
- 248Studio – skateboard deck art and collectibles.
- Beirut Souk – Lebanese jewelry, bags and accessories.
- Dolly Rocker’s Handmade and Vintage – clothing, jewelry and accessories.
- GoodBoy Clothing – minimalistic clothing, bear oils and backpacks.
- Guilt Chocolates – hand-painted bonbons.
- ILERA Apothecary – organic bath and body products.
- Kiloh + Co.- Simple – women’s apparel.
- Little High Flyers – baby apparel.
- Mitten Crate – Michigan-made food products.
- POST – furniture and fixtures.
- Rock Paper Scissors – cards and gifts.
- Tiana Body Care – body care products and oils.
- True Desserts – raw vegan desserts.
- Yellow Dog Marketplace – antique products.
For information on returning vendors, check out our post about last year’s shops.
The mini glass shopping huts are scheduled for a soft opening on November 14. The markets are in Cadillac Square, Capitol Park and 1441 Woodward and will be open for business through January 13.
If you can’t make it downtown to catch the fun, you can tune into WXYZ-TV Channel 7 for complete coverage of the events.