This year’s 19th Annual Detroit Tree Lighting returned as the official start of Detroit’s 2022 holiday season. Each year, the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) produces this spectacular holiday tradition along with presenting sponsor, DTE Foundation.
Nearly 100,000 attendees gathered, as Santa flipped the switch to the 65-foot Michigan-grown spruce stationed in Campus Martius Park. As the lights flipped on, audience members captured the big reveal, as the tree was illuminated with 20,000 sparkling lights.
As part of its family-friendly winter attractions, the Detroit Tree Lighting offered horse-drawn carriage rides, food trucks and visits from Santa. Downtown Detroit was aglow in more ways than one, as several Downtown businesses held Tree Lighting office parties for employees.
In addition to the glittering lights, the Downtown Detroit Markets at Cadillac Square, featured 18 small businesses allowing patrons to shop local during the holidays. The markets featured an array of specialty gift items — apparel, accessories, local foods, décor and more.
The Downtown Detroit Markets are produced each year in collaboration with Downtown Detroit Partnership and the Gilbert Family Foundation; and will remain open throughout the holiday season, until January 1. Nearby, the Cadillac Lodge offered a winter-themed rest area, complete with warm holiday drinks, food, a fireplace, plush couches and holiday music.
Local vendors were stationed throughout the Detroit Tree Lighting event, one of which was Rebel Nell. The Downtown Detroit Partnership partnered with this small business to create its inaugural limited-edition DDP Centennial holiday ornament. The ornament will be sold throughout the holiday season at The Rink at Campus Martius Park and Rebel Nell’s Parker’s Alley location.
Funds received from the purchase of this keepsake will benefit the Downtown Detroit Partnership’s ongoing work to improve upon the Downtown Detroit community for all.
The entertainment continued, as award-winning actor, singer-songwriter, Darren Criss; NBC’s The Voice semi-finalist, Zania Alake; Detroit Opera Youth Chorus; Julianne Ankley and additional local talent provided live performances and songs.
Attendees watched American figure-skating champion, Mariah Bell; Eva Pate and Logan Bye of the Team USA Senior Dance Team; as well as several local skating clubs demonstrate live ice-skating performances. Following the skating performance and the tree lighting, The Rink at Campus Martius Park presented by Visit Detroit officially opened to the public.
In addition to the attractions throughout Campus Martius Park, festivities continued at Light Up Beacon Park presented by DTE. A shuttle transported attendees from Beacon Park and Campus Martius Park.
Beacon Park offered additional family-friendly attractions: the Michigan-grown Detroit Children’s Tree, which was illuminated by 125,000 lights. The 19th annual Detroit Tree Lighting was simulcasted at Light Up Beacon Park via DDP’s broadcast partner, WXYZ-TV.
Offering an additional heated winter lodge, Light Up Beacon Park presented a Toyland-themed light show, live reindeer, Choo-Choo train rides, visits from Santa, food trucks and live entertainment from Aisha Ellis Trio, DJ Kid McFly and The Casali Holiday Dancers.
This year’s Detroit Tree Lighting sponsors included: Atwater Brewery, Autolive, EY, GM, General RV Center, Huntington, Kroger, McDonald’s, MGM Grand Detroit, OneMagnify, Rocket Companies, Visit Detroit, Wana Brands and WXYZ Detroit.