18th annual Detroit Tree Lighting rings in the holiday season

The 2021 Detroit Tree Lighting at Campus Martius Park. (Jerome Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

Detroit — The Christmas holiday season has begun!  The 18th annual Detroit Tree Lighting was held on Friday evening at Campus Martius Park.  The 65-foot Norway Spruce, the tallest ever, graced the gathering place this year.  There are 20,000 LED multi-colored lights illuminating the tree to make it the brightest ever. 

DTE and the Downtown Detroit Partnership hosted the event with live entertainment this year from Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner, “The Voice” winner Cam Anthony, Detroit’s own blues singer Thornetta Davis and Ryan Neal, a Detroit singer, songwriter and producer.

Ashley Wagner is a 30-year-old, 2016 World silver medalist and a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist hailing from Heidelberg, Germany.  She performed her wonderful skills on the ice today. 

Cam Anthony who was coached by Blake Shelton on “The Voice” sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” 

The Motor City’s own Thornetta Davis, Detroit’s Queen of the Blues, sang a moving rendition of “Give Love on Christmas Day.” 

Ryan Neal, is originally from Dearborn Heights and sings songs from every genre including soul, hip hop, R&B and funk.  He sang “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

Along with these special guests, there were surprise guests such as the Detroit Concert Choir led my Dr. Michael Mitchell,  members of the cast of “Peter Pan” from the Detroit Actors Club, the Salvation Army Band who played a variety of Christmas tunes, Herman Moore from the Detroit Lions and the Redhouse Band.

In Cadillac Square, the Detroit Marketplace glass sheds were open for holiday shopping.  Also, there were many food trucks and restaurants in the area to grab a bite during the event.  The cozy Lodge was open for relaxing, enjoying drinks and fireside chats.

This free event was family-friendly with the festivities beginning at 5 p.m and ending at midnight.  There were thousands of people there enjoying the festivities.   Masks were encouraged.  Last year, this event did not happen due to Covid-19. 

The highlight of the evening was when Santa who came from the North Pole to flip the switch to light up this magnificent tree and officially start the Christmas season.  It seemed everyone had a great time.  I know I sure did!

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