Top 7 Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Michigan

1006958699_3126c618cf_zAs temperatures continue to dip and snowflakes begin to fall, communities across the Mitten are welcoming the start of another holiday season with tree-lighting celebrations.

The annual tradition of public tree-lighting events dates back to the 1920s when President Calvin Coolidge helped to light the national Christmas tree. Today, these ceremonies continue to bring together communities across the nation in celebration of the upcoming holiday season.

Here’s a look at some upcoming tree-lighting ceremonies across Michigan:

Grand Rapids: The Grand Rapids Art Museum will host the city’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20. The event includes carolers and a performance by the Grand Rapids Ballet dancers. The city’s 40-foot spruce will be lit with more than 40,000 LED lights.

DetroitThe 11th annual Detroit tree-lighting ceremony will be held at Campus Martius Park on Friday, Nov. 21 and will feature entertainment by special guest Jena Irene, American Idol runner-up. The holiday fun goes from 5 p.m. to midnight, with the ceremonial tree-lighting taking place at 7:45 p.m. The park will also host the fourth annual Lighting of the Menorah in the D taking place Dec. 16.

Lansing: Festivities in Lansing begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21 at the 30th Annual Silver Bells in the City event. The lighting of Michigan’s official state Christmas tree will take place just after 7:30 p.m. and will include a dazzling fireworks display (if weather cooperates) and an Electric Light Parade.

KalamazooSanta and two of his reindeer are confirmed guests at Kalamazoo’s tree-lighting ceremony at Bronson Park on Friday, Nov. 28. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the tree-lighting and reading of “Twas the Night before Christmas” scheduled for 7 p.m. The celebration also includes ice carving, kids’ crafts, food trucks and live entertainment.

Flint: On Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Flint Cultural Center will present the community’s 31st Annual Holiday Walk. Stop by to enjoy light displays, festive music, theater performances, crafts, refreshments and much more. Santa Claus will also be dropping by to help with the ceremonial tree-lighting at 5:15 p.m.

Marquette: Downtown Marquette will celebrate the magic of the holiday season at its 39th annual City of Marquette tree-lighting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 4. The event includes a winter snow fun holiday parade featuring illuminated floats. Kids can deliver their letters to Santa with help from the Marquette Post Office staff.

Traverse City: Later that week, Traverse City will celebrate Santa’s arrival with a tree-lighting ceremony and holiday open house on Friday, Dec. 5. Get ahead of your holiday shopping with special sales at downtown TC’s participating shops. Family fun activities include fire engine rides, caroling and live entertainment.

Is your community hosting a tree-lighting or holiday celebration? Let others know about additional events by sharing the details in a comment below. 

Photo credit: André Kirchner

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