DETROIT (WWJ) – The city of Detroit is ready to usher in the holiday season with the 11th annual tree lighting in Campus Martius Park.
The “Season of Winter Magic” celebration starts at 5 p.m. Friday with entertainment, live music, ice-skating shows, photos with Santa, carriage rides and other seasonal family activities. Officials will then light the 60-foot-tall Michigan-grown Norway Spruce, which has over 19,000 twinkling energy-efficient LED lights, at approximately 7:45 p.m.
Winter Magic activities range from ice-skating to horse and carriage rides and street performers that will enliven the city’s core. Headliners include American Idol Season 13 runner-up Jena Irene from Farmington Hills, Olympic Gold Medalist skater Katia Gordeeva, Detroit’s Second Ebenezer Mass Choir and the Rhythm Society Orchestra with Paul King.
Other Winter Magic highlights 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 through Sunday, March 1. Broomball takes place Monday and Tuesday nights in January and February.
Rink Side Bar — A cozy indoor/outdoor seating area with heaters, a bar and panoramic views of Campus Martius Park. Open weekends and holidays.
Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides — Snuggle up and enjoy a ride through the magically decorated streets of downtown Detroit. Weekends through Sunday, Dec. 28, $10 per person.
Santa’s Wonderland — First National Building, 660 Woodward Avenue. “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. 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 — Cadillac Square Igloo. Housed in a 30 x 18 foot igloo-shaped structure on Cadillac Square, 25 designer snowmen will be decked out by Somerset retailers. Open daily through Dec. 23, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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. Friday and Saturday nights 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 Avenue. Nearly 40 Somerset Collection retailers, from Gucci to Gap, will come to downtown Detroit for the holidays. Open Dec. 3 through Dec. 23, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Detroit Shoppe — 1261 Woodward Avenue. Showcasing people, places and products that have shaped Detroit. All proceeds benefit Detroit charities. Open Nov. 21, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and during Lions home games (Dec. 7 and 14), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more Winter Magic information, visit www.campusmartiuspark.org.