GUIDE to Detroit tree lighting: Musical acts, where to park and forecast

Posted at 11:02 AM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 11:06:12-05

The holiday season in Detroit kicks off on tonight at Campus Martius Park, when the city’s Christmas tree lights up for the first time this year.

WXYZ will broadcast complete coverage of the event during a live special, “Light Up the Season,” from 7-8 p.m. on Channel 7 and on Facebook

This is the 14th consecutive year for the Downtown Detroit Partnership’s annual tree lighting ceremony. The centerpiece of this year’s event is a Michigan-grown, 60-foot Norwegian Spruce, that will be decked out with more than 19,000 multi-colored lights and ornaments.

The tree lighting is expected to draw more than 40,000 people to the area surrounding Campus Martius Park, Detroit’s meeting place.

But if you plan to head down and experience the festivities live, here’s what you’ll need to know:


Temperatures will hold steady in the low 40s tonight, but rain is expected around 11 p.m. Let’s hope it holds off long enough… For your full forecast, click here.


The show will include musical performances from Detroit’s own soulful funk band Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas; international R&B and Motown star, Kem; and Detroit’s Queen of Blues, Thornetta Davis.

Ice Rink:

U.S. Olympic medalist and four-time U.S. Figure Skating Champion Jeremy Abbott will be featured in the holiday ice show, along with the Detroit Skating Club and the University of Michigan Skating Club.

After the special show, Channel 955 will host The Rink Opening Party, and the public will be able to dust off their skates or rent a pair from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Click here for skating prices:

Beacon Park

Every fifteen minutes, free shuttles will run between Campus Martius Park and expanded tree lighting programming at Beacon Park, where there will also be festivities.

Detroit Holiday markets

Pop-up holiday markets, featuring 30 vendors who will be selling holiday gifts ranging from clothing to cards and everything in between. Venders will be located at 1001 Woodward, Capitol Park and Cadillac Square.


Parking downtown tonight may be hard. Prepare for street closures and click here for a parking map.