DETROIT – The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) and DTE Energy Foundation are proud to present the 19th annual Detroit Tree Lighting. The official kick-off of the holiday season will be held at the award-winning Campus Martius Park from 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Nov. 18, and the public is invited to attend and enjoy a full schedule of free festivities and entertainment.
“Detroit’s Tree Lighting is a cherished tradition that always delights and brings holiday cheer to families across Michigan. Campus Martius Park and Cadillac Square are two of the most festive places Downtown and we are proud to offer the community an opportunity to come together in these spaces for this quintessential holiday experience,” said Eric Larson, CEO of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. David Cowan, chief public spaces officer at the Downtown Detroit Partnership continued, “We welcome all to Downtown for this unforgettable and festive night and to return throughout the winter season to ice skate, shop, dine and explore the city’s many free and family-friendly attractions.”
The celebration will center around a Michigan-grown, 65-foot Norway spruce that stands as a holiday beacon for Detroiters and visitors alike in Detroit’s gathering place. It will be decked with ornaments and illuminated by 20,000 dazzling LED multi-colored lights – after a countdown by none other than Santa himself.
“The holiday tree lighting in Detroit has been a hallmark event for the DTE Foundation, and we’re proud to have supported it since day one. These celebrations help to showcase the wonderful restaurants, local businesses and retail shops – all of which help drive the city’s economy – and brings our community together in a very special way,” said Lynette Dowler, president of the DTE Foundation. “This year’s Light Up Beacon Park will feature a Toyland theme with larger-than-life installations and Detroit’s Children’s Tree decorated with handmade ornaments from local students. We can’t wait to kick off the holiday season and celebrate in the city together!”
WXYZ-TV Channel 7 will once again serve as the official broadcast station of the annual Detroit Tree Lighting ceremony, broadcasting complete coverage of the event during a live special, “Light Up the Season,” from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those who prefer to view the show indoors from the comfort of their own home can tune in to the one-hour special broadcast on their televisions, online and on all streaming devices.
The signature event will be marked by stellar live entertainment on stage and the ice rink, including headline performances by Darren Criss, a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor, singer-songwriter best known for his role in the TV musical series “Glee.” The University of Michigan alumni recently starred on Broadway in the play “American Buffalo” and his 2021 holiday album – “A Very Darren Crissmas” – is up for multiple Grammy considerations.
Hitting the ice will be American figure skater Mariah Bell, who represented the U.S. at the 2022 Winter Olympics and is a 2022 U.S. national champion, 2020 U.S. national silver medalist and two-time U.S. national bronze medalist (2017, 2019); Team USA Senior Dance Team Eva Pate and Logan Bye, who recently brought home their second straight Challenger Series medal and earned silver at the 2022 U.S International Figure Skating Classic; and performances by local skating clubs.
Other musical acts performing in the evening include Detroit’s own The Redhouse Band led by Darell “Red” Campbell, Jr., a musician, songwriter, producer and teacher who is enjoying his seventh season working with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Civic Youth Ensembles. The Redhouse Band will provide musical accompaniment for the Tree Lighting’s guest vocalists. Julianne Ankley, a singer-songwriter who hails from southeast Michigan and has 15 Detroit Music Awards, including the 2022 award for Outstanding Country Artist/Group and “Special Honoree” for the 2022 Outstanding Country Vocalist; the award-winning Brazeal Dennard Chorale founded in 1972; Spartan Dischords, the oldest all-male a cappella group at Michigan State University; and Detroit Opera Youth Chorus, a children’s ensemble for metro Detroit youth interested in vocal musical theatrical art.
DETROIT TREE LIGHTING FESTIVITIES AND HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS
Those planning to attend the 2022 Detroit Tree Lighting are encouraged to arrive early to experience all the holiday festivities. The night also will feature amazing lighting attractions totaling more than a million lights across the downtown, festive activities, holiday shopping and so much more, including:
Guests can experience the magic of Downtown Detroit like never before – from inside an enchanting horse-drawn carriage. Carriage rides take passengers on a journey through the bustling city and around Campus Martius Park. With the dramatic backdrop of the city’s iconic skyline and Detroit’s Christmas Tree, these charming tours are a wonderful way to embrace the holiday spirit all snuggled up with friends and family or hand-in-hand with a sweetheart. Carriage rides are going cashless this year. Credit, debit, Apply Pay, Cash App or other digital forms of payment are accepted. Rides are $10 for individuals and $40 for a private ride. More info is available online at DowntownDetroit.org.
Downtown Detroit Markets at Cadillac Square
The DDP is proud to provide economic opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Detroit and committed to showcasing their diverse concepts by giving them space in its parks and public spaces for exposure, as well as creating programs, events and activities that drive foot traffic to the area. The Downtown Detroit Markets is one of those programs where residents, visitors and out-of- town travelers can celebrate the season in the city through a multitude of engaging activities and experiences, and dining and shopping at Downtown Detroit Markets at Cadillac Square beginning Nov. 10 through Jan. 1, 2023.
Whether window shopping or on a spree, the Downtown Detroit Markets are the place to be for specialty and vintage apparel, accessories, jewelry, bath products, home décor, children’s toys, pet goods, books and culinary snacks.
Eighteen curated local retailers will set up shop for the holiday season. Funded by the Gilbert Family Foundation and managed in partnership with Bedrock and the DDP to support the local entrepreneurial community, many of the Downtown Detroit Market vendors. More information is available at DowntownDetroit.org.
This season, The Iconic Collection will operate Cadillac Lodge, a cozy, family-friendly space right next to the Downtown Detroit Markets that will serve an assortment of tasty treats, including walking tacos, Detroit-style chili and soft pretzels, as well as festive drinks for everyone to enjoy. In the comfort and style of a ski lodge setting, the Lodge offers a warm and welcoming place to sit and sip cocktails, hot cocoa and more.
An assortment of food and beverages will be available from food trucks, offering a variety of cuisines for hungry visitors to grab-and-go during the Detroit Tree Lighting. It’s also a great way to support some of Detroit’s finest small business owners and entrepreneurs in addition to trying some new, tasty delights. The list of food trucks that will be on hand includes Authentic Jamaica, Big Bo’s Grill, B.L. Ellis, Buffy’s Mexi-Casin Cuisine, Chick A Dee, Cousins Maine Lobster, Detroit House of Mac, Detroit’s Original Seafood Truck, The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill, Smoke Ring, Sonny’s Hamburgers and Stove Woodfire Pizza.
There are plenty of bars and dining options in Downtown Detroit that will be open, too, from fast-casual to upscale dining and everything in between, including the award-winning Parc at Campus Martius Park, Lumen at Beacon Park and many great, nearby Downtown dining destinations to explore.
Holiday festivities run through Dec. 31, and bring winter fun and inclusivity to the broader Downtown Detroit community, promoting connectivity between the parks and creating warm, inviting spaces all season long.
LIGHT UP BEACON PARK + DETROIT’S CHILDREN’S TREE
Down the street from Campus Martius Park, another holiday celebration will take place on Friday, Nov. 18, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., when Beacon Park kicks off the holiday season with “Light Up Beacon Park,” a two-part celebration that offers something for everyone.
From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., families can watch the 20-foot, Michigan-grown Children’s Tree come to life with ornaments decorated by local Detroit children during the tree lighting at 6 p.m. They can visit with Santa, see live reindeer and enjoy a ride on a toy train and a “Rockette” inspired performance by the St. Clair Shores-based Casali Holiday Dancers. There also will be food trucks onsite offering plenty of tempting eats and treats, music and more.
The festivities continue from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. with the Aisha Ellis Trio, led by Detroit native, drummer and percussionist extraordinaire Ellis.
Children of all ages are invited to experience “Toyland” at Beacon Park with larger-than-life, custom-fabricated light installations. From a three-dimensional starburst that stands 25-feet tall to a canopy of lights, a Giant Teddy Bear and a dazzling Choo-Choo Train offer plenty of photo moments. These new and returning interactive lighting features, totaling more than 125,000 twinkling LED lights, will illuminate and transform Beacon Park into a winter wonderland through Jan. 16, 2023.
As part of “Toyland,” Beacon Park will host a free, ride-on toy train for kids of all ages from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With the beautiful park and Children’s Tree as the centerpiece, Beacon Park is a must-see along everyone’s Downtown holiday journey.
Free shuttles will run from Light Up Beacon Park to Detroit’s 19th annual Tree Lighting at Campus Martius Park from 4:30 p.m. to midnight.
A full list of activities at Beacon Park is available at DTEBeaconPark.com.
THE RINK AT CAMPUS MARTIUS PARK PRESENTED BY VISIT DETROIT
The annual Detroit Tree Lighting also marks the opening of The Rink at Campus Martius Park presented by Visit Detroit at 9 p.m. Michigan’s premier family-friendly outdoor ice rink right in the heart of Downtown offers one of the most iconic skating experiences in the country. It continues to be a top destination for the entire region, because nothing says holidays in Downtown Detroit quite like a spin around The Rink with the Christmas Tree providing a beautiful backdrop.
The Rink will be open seven days a week, including holidays, through March 5, 2023. Walk-up rink tickets are available at Campus Martius Park with more info and pricing available at DowntownDetroit.org.
The Downtown Detroit Partnership is a privately funded non-profit organization that greatly benefits from the support of its lead sponsors, The DTE Beacon Park Foundation, Visit Detroit and Rocket Companies, as well as the following additional sponsors: Absopure, Atwater Brewery, Autoliv, Capital One Café, Cronus Communications, Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, DTE Foundation, EY, Faygo, GM, Honigman, Huntington Bank, General RV, McDonald’s, Motor City Casino Hotel, MGM Grand Detroit, Michigan.com, Motown Museum, One Magnify, Strategic Staffing Solutions, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Trent Creative, Wana Brands and WXYZ Detroit.
About the Downtown Detroit Partnership
Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) strengthens and supports Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs. DDP convenes business, philanthropic and government partners to create a vibrant and resilient urban core for Detroit and the surrounding community. DDP is responsible for programming, managing and operating several of Downtown Detroit’s parks and public spaces. For more information, visit DowntownDetroit.org.
About the DTE Energy Foundation
The DTE Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.3 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.3 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2021, the DTE Energy Foundation provided more than $18.9 million in grant support where the company has a business presence with a focus on driving positive, meaningful change on three key areas: jobs, equity and the environment. As one of Michigan’s leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy aspires not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world, serving as a force for growth and prosperity in the communities across Michigan. Visit DTEFoundation.com to learn more.
Visit Detroit is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues and job opportunities.
More than 700 businesses are represented in Visit Detroit’s membership. Visit Detroit was founded in 1896 as the world’s first convention and visitors bureau. visitdetroit.com