DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit’s official Christmas tree is now aglow in Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit.
Hundreds of people from all over southeastern Michigan gathered at the park for a lighting ceremony Friday evening.
There was also entertainment from celebrities this evening including Damian McGinty from Fox TV’s hit show, Glee and folk music icon, Peter Yarrow.
Kay Shatiere traveled from Tawas City off Lake Huron to see the show . . .
“I think it’s spectacular, we look forward to coming down to different events in this area, all the time,” said Shatiere. “It’s a wonderful thing.”
The tree lighting event also served as the official kick-off of Detroit’s “Winter Magic” season where a number of holiday activities and events take place on the weekends in the downtown area among them the Holiday Marketplace and Beer Garden.
The 10,000 pound, 60-foot tree sits beaming with 19,000 LED lights.
The event was also the lighting ceremony for the Salvation Army’s giant Red Kettle, which is the largest kettle in the world.
Major Mark Anderson, General Secretary and Metro Detroit Commander for the Salvation Army told WWJ about the goal set for this Christmas season.
“It represents an $8.7 million goal that we’ve set for this year,” said Anderson. “That goal really represents helping needy all across metro Detroit.”
The Rink at Campus Martius Park — Young and old alike can take to the ice daily from Friday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, March 2. Skate rental is $3 and admission is $7 for adults, $6 for children (12 and under) and seniors (50 and older). Broomball also will be offered on Tuesday nights in Jan. and Feb.
Holiday Marketplace and Beer Garden — More than 30 specialty artisan, boutique and local food vendors will open up shop in Cadillac Square, adjacent to Campus Martius Park, weekends from Friday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Dec. 22. The Marketplace also will feature a Beer Garden with craft beers, warm winter cocktails, live entertainment and TVs for those who wish to watch sporting events.
Rink Side Lounge – New to the festivities this year is a cozy outdoor seating area with heaters, a bar and panoramic views of the activities in the park. The Rink Side Lounge will be open weekends and holidays.
Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides – Families can snuggle up and enjoy a ride through the magically decorated streets of downtown Detroit. Rides are offered weekends starting Friday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Dec. 29. Rides are priced at $5.
Street Performances – Jugglers, stiltwalkers and fine artists are just some of the street performers who will be entertaining Campus Martius visitors on weekends from Friday, Nov. 22 until Sunday, Dec. 29.
Detroiters can shop ‘til they drop on the 1200 block of Woodward, between Grand River and Gratiot. Retailers popping up downtown thisholiday season now through Thursday, Dec. 21 include:
- The Detroit Shoppe – Showcasing people, places and products that have shaped Detroit
1201 Woodward; Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Rock Paper Scissors – Offers personalized stationery, paper, home goods and gifts
1213 Woodward; Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- The Hand-Made Company – Michigan-made products from a variety of Detroit retailers
1219 Woodward; Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Spielhaus Toys – A hand-made specialty toy shop
1249 Woodward; Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Somerset Collection City Loft – Your favorite Somerset Collection retailers in Detroit
1261 Woodward ; Hours: Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. beginning Thursday, Nov. 21.
- Moosejaw – Popular national outdoor retailer
1275 Woodward; Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.