By Edward Cardenas

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) –  The holiday season in Detroit kicks off Friday with the traditional lighting of city’s Christmas Tree in Campus Martius Park and the world’s tallest Salvation Army Red Kettle.

The Salvation Army will light its giant Red Kettle in Cadillac Square, just off Campus Martius Park at 6 p.m. Friday, which kicks off the annual Red Kettle campaign.

Maj. Mark Anderson, Metro Detroit Commander of The Salvation Army, said they have a $9 million goal for this year’s campaign which helps families with Christmas assistance, help with energy assistance, shelter and more .

“That goal will not only meet the needs at Christmas time, but throughout the year,” said Anderson, who said donors can give at more than 400 locations in Metro Detroit, or by phone at (877) 725-6424). “We are just really, really thankful for all the support we are receiving across Metro Detroit. We couldn’t do this without individuals like you making a difference.”

Following the lighting of the Red Kettle, the festivities switch to Campus Martius Park with performances by American Idol Season 13 runner-up Jena Irene, Olympic Gold Medalist skater Ekaterina (Katia) Gordeeva, Detroit’s Second Ebenezer Mass Choir and the Rhythm Society Orchestra with Paul King.

Then at 7:45 p.m., the 60-foot-tall Michigan grown, Norway Spruce which sits on top of the Park Fountain will be lit and over 19,000 twinkling energy-efficient LED lights will sparkle in the evening sky.

“DTE Energy Foundation is proud to continue its gift giving tradition by presenting the spectacular 60 foot Christmas Tree to the City of Detroit and the wonderful evening of entertainment and fun for the whole community,” said Faye Alexander Nelson, Vice President of Public Affairs and President of the DTE Energy Foundation, in a release. “The DTE Energy Foundation has a great history of giving back to the city and the community and the Tree Lighting Ceremony is a night that creates lasting memories for all Detroiters young and old.”

The Tree Lighting and the Season Grand Opening of the Rink kicks off the entire Quicken Loans Winter Magic 2014-2015 Season.

Among the events planned for the holidays include:

  • The Rink at Campus Martius Park Skate rental: $3; Admission: $8, adults; $7, children 12 and under and seniors 50 and up. Open daily Friday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, March 1. Broomball takes place Monday and Tuesday nights in January and February.
  • Rink Side Bar An indoor/outdoor seating area with heaters, a bar and panoramic views of Campus Martius Park. Open weekends and holidays.
  • Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides: Ride through the decorated
    streets of downtown Detroit. Weekends, Friday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Dec. 28, $10 per person.
  • Street Performances: Jugglers, stilt walkers and fine artists will entertain Campus Martius visitors on weekends, Friday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Dec. 28.
  • Showcase D’ Holidays: Restaurant tastings from The Whitney, Ottava Via, Slow’s BBQ, The Rattlesnake Club, Joe Muer’s Seafood, Fountain Bistro and more, in a heated tent on
    Cadillac Square complemented by 40 music performances from Detroit acts: Kalido, Thornetta Davis, Hot Sauce, Sean Blackman’s In transit among others. A portion of the proceeds benefit The Salvation Army, Detroit Goodfellows, THAW, Matrix Human Services and COTS. Friday and Saturday nights, Nov. 21 through Dec. 20, from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Food service: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Somerset Collection CityLoft: First National Building, 660 Woodward Ave. Nearly 40 Somerset Collection retailers, from Gucci to Gap, will come to downtown Detroit for the holidays. Stores include 7 for All Mankind, Aveda, The Body Shop, The Buckle, Cache, Eddie Bauer, Icing, Lego, Lilly Pulitzer, Lacoste, Paradise Pen, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids, Ralph Lauren, Swarovski, The Detroit Shoppe, Thomas Pink, plus live DJs, carolers and more. Open Dec. 3 through Dec. 23, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Santa’s Wonderland presented by Somerset Collection: First National Building, 660 Woodward Ave. A “Kids only” store. For a $5 donation, children receive five gold coins to buy gifts that can be wrapped on site. While kids shop, adults can get a free coffee or cocoa at Roasting Plant. Merchandise is donated by Somerset Collection retailers. Proceeds benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21 for Tree Lighting and Monday through
    Saturday, Dec. 3 through Dec. 23, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The Snowman Collection presented by Somerset Collection: An igloo housed in a 30 x 18 foot igloo-shaped structure on Cadillac Square will feature 25 designer snowmen
    decked out by Somerset retailers. Open daily Nov. 21 through Dec. 23, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The Detroit Shoppe: 1261 Woodward Ave. Showcasing people, places and products that have shaped Detroit. All proceeds benefit.

“We are thrilled with this year’s new Winter Magic offerings that will bring the best entertainers, restaurants and shopping experiences all to one highly energized location,” said Robert Gregory, President of The Detroit 300 Conservancy, the non-profit organization and affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership that oversees Campus Martius Park. “Showcase D’ Holidays and Somerset Collection’s CityLoft, combined with ice skating, the Christmas Tree and thousands of downtown
twinkling lights will help us deliver the ultimate holiday experience in Metro Detroit.”



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