Detroit Christmas tree lighting ceremony and other events downtown tonight

The holiday season kicks off Friday night in downtown Detroit. 

The 16th Annual Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony at Campus Martius is happening Nov. 22, with other festivities also taking place just a few blocks away at Beacon Park. The Salvation Army's giant red kettle is also being lit at Cadillac Square.

All activities are free at each location and run from 5 p.m. - midnight. 


The tree this year is a Michigan-grown, 60-foot tall Norway Spruce covered with 19,000 multi-colored, energy efficient LED lights and hundreds of sparkling ornaments.   

Before the lighting switch gets flipped, we'll see performances from GRAMMY-nominated artist Mayer Hawthorne, the Detroit Youth Choir and World Champion Figure Skater and two-time Olympian Yuka Sato, and Olympian Miari Nagasu, the first American figure skater to land a triple axel at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

You can get preferred rink-side seating for $10 for kids and $20 for adults. 

Carriage rides will also be available starting at 6 p.m.


If you want to beat the Campus Martius crowd, you can watch a livestreaming of the tree lighting over at Beacon Park. They'll have a cozy lodge tent to keep warm in. 

A free shuttle is going back and forth between the two parks starting at 4:30 p.m. Pick-up and drop-off locations are at First and Plaza (Beacon Park) and Griswold and Michigan (Campus Martius Park)

You'll also find performances at Beacon Park from Staffanie Christ'ian, Casali Holiday Dancers, DJ Invisible and SHIGETO. Interactive light displays, live reindeer, food trucks and Santa Claus will also be there. 

You'll also find Detroit's only children's tree, with local kids on-hand to light the special tree prior to the big tree lighting. 


Also happening downtown Friday night, the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is kicking off its 2019 Red Kettle Campaign. 

You can watch the lighting of the world's tallest red kettle - which stands at 56 feet tall and 24 feet wide - Friday night at Cadillac Square. The kettle is also covered with 26,000 sparkling LED lights. 

The Salvation Army Brass Band will perform at 5:30 p.m. with the ceremony beginning at 6 p.m.