DETROIT — The holiday season in Detroit’s vibrant urban core will kick off on Friday with the highly anticipated 10th annual tree lighting in Campus Martius Park. The Winter Magic season, sponsored by Quicken Loans, brings thousands of people to the city’s downtown streets for festivities and holiday gift shopping.
The Detroit tree lighting ceremony, presented by DTE Energy Foundation, will begin at 6:20 p.m. The tree will come to life with the help of “IKEA D-Light!,” an energetic five-minute audio/visual experience featuring holiday music classics from Detroit artists synchronized with the tree’s 19,000 LED lights. Detroiters will also experience ice skating shows and musical performances by local and international celebrities including 12-year-old entertainment phenom Ethan Bortnick, Damian McGinty from FOX Television’s smash hit Glee, folk music icon Peter Yarrow and Olympic skater Kimmie Meissner.
“We can’t wait to celebrate the start of the holiday season with the Detroit tree lighting. On top of that, this year’s Winter Magic celebration has even more activities everyone can enjoy,” said Robert Gregory, President of The Detroit 300 Conservancy, the non-profit organization that oversees Campus Martius Park.
This year’s spectacular 60-foot tree weighs in at 10,000 pounds with more than three miles of twinkling LED lights wrapping it from top to bottom.
“The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to sponsor this event every year and is honored to help usher in Winter Magic with a festive celebration in the heart of Detroit,” said Paul Hillegonds, DTE Energy senior vice president. “This year’s tree lighting will be the most memorable one yet.”
The Winter Magic season provides a variety of fun activities for all ages including:
- The Rink at Campus Martius Park Young and old alike can take to the ice daily from Nov. 22 through March 2. Skate rental is $3 and admission is $7 for adults, $6 for children (12 and under) and seniors (50 and older). Broomball also will be offered on Tuesday nights in January and February.
- Holiday Marketplace and Beer Garden More than 30 specialty artisan, boutique and local food vendors will open up shop in Cadillac Square, adjacent to Campus Martius Park, weekends from Friday through Dec. 22. The Marketplace also will feature a Beer Garden with craft beers, warm winter cocktails, live entertainment and TVs for those who wish to watch sporting events.
- Rink Side Lounge New to the festivities this year is a cozy outdoor seating area with heaters, a bar and panoramic views of the activities in the park. The Rink Side Lounge will be open weekends and holidays.
- Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides Families can snuggle up and enjoy a ride through the magically decorated streets of downtown Detroit. Rides are offered weekends starting Friday through Dec. 29. Rides are priced at $5.
- Street Performances Jugglers, stiltwalkers and fine artists are just some of the street performers who will be entertaining Campus Martius visitors on weekends from Friday until Dec. 29.
Detroiters can shop on the 1200 block of Woodward, between Grand River and Gratiot, courtesy of Bedrock Real Estate Services, the real estate arm of the Quicken Loans Family of Companies.
“Bringing the streets to life with great shopping and creating a destination here in Detroit’s vibrant urban core is our passion,” said Dan Mullen, vice president of development for Bedrock Real Estate Services. “We’re proud to bring unique retail options to Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit this holiday season for all residents and visitors to enjoy.”
Retailers popping up downtown this holiday season from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. now through Dec. 21 include:
- The Detroit Shoppe, 1201 Woodward Ave.; Showcasing people, places and products that have shaped Detroit.
- Rock Paper Scissors, 1213 Woodward Ave.;Offers personalized stationery, paper, home goods and gifts.
- The Hand-Made Co., 1219 Woodward Ave.; Michigan-made products from a variety of Detroit retailers.
- Spielhaus Toys, 1249 Woodward Ave.; A hand-made specialty toy shop
- Somerset Collection City Loft, 1261 Woodward Ave.; Your favorite Somerset Collection retailers in Detroit, starting Thursday
- Moosejaw – Popular national outdoor retailer, 1275 Woodward Ave.; Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, starting Dec. 3.
The Detroit 300 Conservancy and Campus Martius Park are grateful to Quicken Loans for its presentation of the season of Winter Magic 2013, DTE Energy Foundation for its presentation of Our Official City of Detroit Christmas Tree, and the support from all of our Official Sponsors including Compuware Corp., McDonald’s, WXYZ Channel 7, Meridian Health Plan, Ernst & Young, GalaxE Solutions, IKEA, Honigman, Marketing Associates, Absopure Water, Faygo, Frankenmuth Brewery, The Detroit People Mover, Detroit Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, Autoliv, Clark Hill, Hines, Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, People’s Transit, Just Baked Cupcakes, good people popcorn, 93.9 The River, Real Detroit Weekly, D-Hive, Greko Printing, Blumz, Great Lakes Trophies, Hard Rock Café, Sterling Group, Michigan Christmas Tree Growers Association and many others.
For more Winter Magic information, visit campusmartiuspark.org