Celebrate the Holidays with the Detroit Tree Lighting and Light Up Beacon Park

Celebrate the holiday season at the Detroit Tree Lighting and Light Up Beacon Park events on Nov. 17.
Photograph courtesy of Downtown Detroit Partnership

A night of holiday cheer is coming to downtown Detroit. On Nov. 17, locals can enjoy tree lightings, entertainment, shopping, food, and more.

Considered the “official kick-off” to the holiday season, the 20th annual Detroit Tree Lighting runs 4-9 p.m., with additional events scheduled all weekend. The 64-foot, Michigan-grown Norway spruce, located in Campus Martius Park, will be decked out with ornaments and thousands of LED multi-colored lights. Santa will down the honors of counting down to the tree lighting.

Among the lineup of stellar live entertainment, are ice skating shows by Nathan Chen, Anna Cobb, and Daniel Palmeri, along with musical performances by Miko Marks, Paul Russell, Talia Suskauer, Darell “Red” Campbell, the Archdiocese of Detroit Choir and many others.

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 starting at 7 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 available to take passengers through the city and around the park, and food trucks such as Clara’s Place, Los Dos Amigos Tacos, Shredderz, and The Lobster Truck will be on site.

Down the street from Campus Martius Park are Light Up Beacon Park and Detroit’s Children Tree. Taking place from 4-9 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, Polar Express train rides, an infinity snow globe, and gigantic walk-through snowflakes and polar bears.

Plus, Beacon Park will debut the “Design Haus,” an indoor heated space filled with life entertainment, art installations, themed decor, photo backdrops, a cocktail bar, and more.

Admission is free for both events. Both run alongside the Downtown Detroit Holiday Markets and Cadillac Lodge, so there will be plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping, too.

For more information, visit downtowndetroitparks.com.

This post has been updated for 2023.