The 17th Annual Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony

By: Scott Davis | November 18, 2020

Commemorating the arrival of the holiday season, the 17th annual Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony is taking place this Friday, November 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Campus Martius. To avoid a public gathering of tens of thousands of Metro Detroiters, ceremony organizers have decided to make this year’s tree lighting a virtual event that will be televised on WXYZ TV (Channel 7). 

Although Metro Detroiters won’t be able to enjoy the ceremony in person, the program is still stacked for the special holiday celebration. The night is highlighted by the pre-recorded program, “Light up the Season,” which features a performance from Motown legend Smokey Robinson and appearances from comedian Tim Allen, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, U.S. champion American figure skater Karen Chen and ice skating duo Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko.

Santa Claus will be making an appearance from the North Pole to help light the 60-foot Michigan-grown Norwegian Spruce. The tree will be adorned with 19,000 lights and ornaments and will stay lit throughout the holiday season.

While families won’t be able to enjoy the Campus Martius ice rink during the ceremony, the rink will be open to the public daily, including holidays, through March 7. The rink will have safety protocols in place including required mask or face coverings, skating sessions and rentals booked online with contactless payment, social distancing while skating and more. To purchase tickets and rentals online, visit the Downtown Detroit Parks website.

Beacon Park will also be getting in the festive mood this week with their annual Light Up Beacon Park event on Friday, November 20. Families can enjoy more than 125,000 photo-ready interactive light displays including a gingerbread house, arches, trees and more. The winter wonderland will be open through January 10.

The Downtown Detroit Partnership Facebook page is also home to updates and information on the safety protocols for not only these events, but other downtown Detroit events as well.

Be sure to stay up to date with all of the holiday trends and events happening in Metro Detroit by checking out our virtual Thanksgiving guide and Season of Giving event.