Tree lighting ceremony dazzles Friday in downtown Detroit
The 15th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is Friday at Campus Martius and Beacon Park
Downtown Detroit will be in full holiday swing Friday with the illumination of the city’s official Christmas Tree in Campus Martius.
The 15th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is expected to draw 50,000 revelers, up from last year’s estimated attendance of 40,000. The free party starts at 5 p.m. and the 60-foot Norway spruce is expected to be lit between 7-8 p.m.
One of the highlights of this year’s festivities is a performance by Grammy Award-winning Gospel artist CeCe Winans. She's expected to perform new songs, as well as holiday standards. On the ice, Olympic medalists and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani will perform along with athletes from the Arctic Figure Skating Club and other clubs like the Dearborn Senior Crystallettes.
If you get the munchies, look for around a dozen food trucks to choose from, including Hero Or Villain sandwiches, Detroit Shrimp and Fish, Smoke Ring BBQ and Los Dos Amigos.
The footprint for the tree-lighting party has expanded this year again to include Beacon Park. Free shuttles will run between the city center and the newer park at Grand River and Cass from 4:30 p.m. to midnight.
Beacon Park will have a live stream of the Campus Martius tree lighting, joining its own display of 90,000 holiday lights, including a three-dimensional starburst that is 25 feet tall.
Food options here include a few food trucks, as well as a full bar and restaurant next to the park. Lumen will be open for dining (reservations accepted) and they’ll also be operating bars inside of the tents at Beacon Park.
Horse-drawn carriage rides in Downtown Detroit kick off Friday and continue through Dec. 22, 6 p.m.-midnight.
More festive lighting continues next month with the Menorah in the D ceremony Dec. 2, a 5 p.m. menorah-lighting ceremony in Campus Martius that includes marshmallow-roasting pits, live entertainment, a kosher food truck and more. Visit menorahinthed.com for more information.
2018 Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony
5 p.m.-midnight Friday
800 Woodward, Detroit
Free Admission, $10-$20 for preferred rink side seating
1. Woodward, northbound and southbound at State/Gratiot, midnight Friday through 8 a.m. Saturday.
2. Monroe, between Woodward and Farmer, 8 p.m. Thursday through 8 a.m. Saturday.
3. Cadillac Square, eastbound and westbound between Woodward and Bates; midnight Friday through 8 a.m. Saturday.
4. Woodward, northbound and southbound at Larned; midnight Friday through 8 a.m. Saturday.
5. Fort, between Woodward and Griswold; midnight Friday through 8 a.m. Saturday.
6. Michigan, between Woodward and Griswold; 8 p.m. Thursday through 8 a.m. Saturday.