A night of holiday cheer is coming to downtown Detroit. On Nov. 18, locals can enjoy tree lightings, entertainment, shopping, food, and more.
Considered the “official kick-off” to the holiday season, the 19th annual Detroit Tree Lighting events are scheduled from 5 p.m. to midnight. The 65-foot, Michigan-grown Norway spruce, located in Campus Martius Park, will be decked out with ornaments and 20,000 LED multi-colored lights. Santa will down the honors of counting down to the tree lighting.
During the event, attendees can catch performances by Team USA Senior Dance Team Eva Pate and Logan Bye, along with U.S. national champion figure skater Mariah Bell at The Rink. Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Julianne Ankley, Darren Chriss of Glee, The Redhouse Band, The Spartan Discords, Brazeal Dennard Choral, and the Detroit Youth Chorus will perform on the stage at Campus Martius Park.
For those who prefer to tune in at home, WXYZ-TV Channel 7 is broadcasting live coverage of the event. The Light Up the Season special will be on from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Following the ceremony, the public is invited to enjoy a myriad of activities at Campus Martius Park. The Rink officially opens for the season at 9 p.m. Carriage rides will be onsite to take passengers through the city and around the park, food trucks such as The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill and Detroit House of Mac will be serving up eats, and guests can also check out the Downtown Detroit Markets and Cadillac Lodge.
Down the street from Campus Martius Park are Light Up Beacon Park and Detroit’s Children Tree. Taking place from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., the event will include the lighting of Beacon Park’s 20-foot, Michigan-grown tree that’s outfitted with ornaments by local children, food trucks, live holiday music, visits with Santa and his live reindeer, toy train rides, and performances by the Casali Holiday Dancers from St. Clair Shores.
Plus, the interactive “Toyland” exhibit, which features custom-fabricated light installations, including a canopy of lights, a giant teddy bear, a toy train and more.
Free shuttles are available to transport patrons from Light Up Beacon Park to the Tree Lighting at Campus Martius Park.
For more information, visit downtowndetroitparks.com, and be sure to check out HourDetroit.com for details on other upcoming holiday events including Wayne County Lightfest, and Noel Night.
This post was originally published in 2021 and has been updated for 2022.