DETROIT — The 12th annual Detroit Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony was held on Friday, November 20, 2015 at Campus Martius in Downtown Detroit. The tree is a Michigan-grown Norway Spruce decorated with over 19,000 twinkling energy-efficient, multi-colored LED lights and shiny ornaments.
Motown legends The Four Tops headlined this year’s event. The legendary vocal quartet helped to define the Motown sound of the 1960’s and charted number one hits for over 40 years. The Four Tops were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and in 2013 the group was inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame.
Also headlining the evening’s entertainment is former world champion and Olympic skater Todd Eldredge. As a young skater, Eldredge trained at Onyx Ice Arena in Rochester, Mich. and at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills. He is a three-time Olympian, six-time U.S. national champion and six-time World medalist. Currently, Todd coaches at the Dr. Pepper Star Center in Frisco, Texas.
Detroit’s own, Karen Newman, was also in attendance. She is known as the “Voice of the Detroit Red Wings” and sings the national anthem for the team’s home games at Joe Louis Arena. Karen has also toured with Bob Seger and Kid Rock. She sang her hit song “Christmas Eve on Woodward Avenue” written in tribute to her hometown Detroit.
The United Voices of Detroit, Michigan Opera Theatre soloist Angela Theis, the Dearborn Senior Crystallette Synchronized Skating team, The Detroit Skating Club, the Arctic Figure Skating Club, The Creative Edge Exhibition Team and the University of Michigan Figure Skating Club were also in attendance, just to name a few. This year’s program is unique, as all the performers have Detroit roots.
The weather was perfect, there was crispness in the air, and smiles on every face. Tonight’s tree lighting included an entire evening of activities as one of the great family traditions was enjoyed by thousands of Detroiters. The Salvation Army lit its giant Red Kettle. Other family activities included the Rink Opening Party, Showcase D’Holidays with food, drink and music. The Salvation Army Family Fun Tent, photos with Santa, and horse-drawn carriage rides were also on the agenda.
The Detroit Tree Lighting officially kicks off the holiday season in downtown Detroit, and it was wonderful to see all the families share in this tradition. It was magical with the stunning skyline and thousands of glimmering lights down the streets and around Campus Martius. If you haven’t seen this exciting event, it is a must see for next year. The memory will last a lifetime.