A Twinkle In The Night: Unveiling Holiday Tree Lights

November 16, 2023
tree lighting ceremony at campus martius

Photo courtesy of Downtown Detroit Partnership

Many special memories are made surrounding the holiday season, and tree-lighting ceremonies are no exception. Communities gather around to light up the sky, symbolizing the warmth and unity that defines the holidays. From towering spruces to charming firs, each tree lighting ceremony is a spectacle of joy and community spirit. Leaning into the sparkle and splendor, consider checking out these tree-lighting celebrations…


November 17

The Village Of Rochester Hills

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The annual Light The Village holiday celebration kicks off on November 17th starting at 6 p.m.! The outdoor shopping center will be covered with over 800,000 lights and offer family-fun entertainment for the evening. Enjoy a magic show at 6:30, Santa’s expected arrival at 6:45, and a fireworks show beginning at 7:15. From 8 to 9, Santa will be having free walk-up visits as well! Throughout the evening, grab a bite to eat from one of the attending food trucks, like Delectabowl, Armandos Taqueria, Detroit Popcorn Co., and more, and interact with stilt walkers, fire performers, balloon twisters, and face painters, to name a few of the entertainment options. 


November 17

800 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

Thousands of Detroiters will gather for the 20th annual tree lighting ceremony at Campus Martius Park on Friday, November 17. The 64-foot tree will feature thousands of multi-colored lights and numerous ornaments and you can watch live from Downtown or in the comfort of your home through a live broadcast starting at 7 p.m. The ice skating rink will officially open for the season on the 18th, but attendees will be able to enjoy performances by 2022 Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Chen alongside other U.S. national champion skaters. 

downtown detroit partnership promotes 2023 winter in the parks
Photo courtesy of Downtown Detroit Partnership


November 17

1901 Grand River Avenue, Detroit

Also in the Downtown area will be the Light Up Beacon Park event from 4 to 9 p.m. The 20-foot Michigan-grown Children’s Tree will be lit at 6 p.m., but families are welcome to come earlier to spend time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, real reindeer, enjoy live music, and snack from the different food trucks attending. If you’re interested, there will also be “Polar Express” rides for free. 


November 17

Downtown Wyandotte

Wyandotte has an action-packed two days starting on Friday the 17th, with a Winter Market, Cookie Walk, Tree Lighting, and Christmas Parade. On the 17th, visit the Winter Market in the Yack Arena Parking Lot from 3 until 9 p.m., with the Tree Lighting ceremony taking place at dusk right around the block. At 10 a.m. on Saturday the 18th, the city of Wyandotte will be hosting its 80th Christmas Parade throughout the downtown area and the day concludes with a Cookie Walk from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sweet Arrangements.


November 19

17420 Hall Road, Clinton Township

On Sunday, November 19th from 4 to 7 p.m., head over to The Mall at Partridge Creek’s Center Court for its tree lighting ceremony. Grab a bite to eat, pick up some early gifts, and enjoy the festive activities! Melissa Morang, General Manager tells us, “Our annual Tree Lighting Celebration, sponsored this year by JD Sports is a community favorite and the official kick-off to the holiday season here at Partridge Creek! The Tree Lighting festivities include face painters, cider and donuts, performances by the Enchanted Snow Sisters, Lazer Beatz Drum Line, Break Dancing Elves, and the NuClassics Electro-Pop Violinists. The evening concludes with Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving to help light the tree and Partridge Creek’s over 350,000 lights! Join us all holiday season for Santa, Shopping, Food, and Fun!” 

tree lighting - tree at partridge creek mall
Photo courtesy of The Mall at Partridge Creek


December 1

Downtown Auburn Hills

The 30th annual tree lighting ceremony in Auburn Hills will take place on Friday, December 1 at 6 p.m. The tree-lighting event will include appearances from Santa and Mrs. Claus, activities for all ages, and of course, the lighting of the tree. 

There are plenty of other tree lighting ceremonies happening throughout southeast Michigan, including celebrations in Rochester on November 18 -19, Madison Heights on November 27, Harrison Township on November 30, Taylor, Warren, Troy, and Farmington on December 2, and Royal Oak on December 3. Be sure to check out those cities’ websites for more information and look to see if your city is hosting tree lighting ceremonies.

This article has been updated to include new information. The original article was published on November 16, 2016.