'Detroit's Winter Destination': Light Up the Season tree lighting ceremony sure to dazzle the city

Posted at 6:28 PM, Nov 09, 2020

DETROIT (WXYZ) — We are just days away from one of Detroit's favorite traditions and Channel 7 is honored to once again be a part of the tree lighting at Campus Martius again this year. This year's Light Up The Season event will look much different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Planning and Public Spaces Officer for the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Bob Gregory, joined us to talk about the changes taking place this year.

“Unfortunately, to keep everybody safe we cannot have a live event for the tree lighting," said Gregory. "So, the date for the tree lighting is November 20. We’ll have a great pre-recorded broadcast with Channel 7 that will air that night.”

The tree will already be lit at some point during the day. The ice rink will be open, everything else will be open downtown.

The tree will be up for several weeks, so people are encouraged to come downtown with their small groupings and families, just not all at one time.

There were nearly 100,000 people in attendance last year, but unfortunately due to the health crisis, a crowded gathering would go against CDC guidelines.

As part of the special Light Up the Season show, there will be major star power.

“We’re fortunate, really lucky to have Detroit’s own Motown legend, Smokey Robinson. He’s the star of the show and probably the biggest star we’ve had for a tree lighting in downtown Detroit since I’ve been involved with this,” says Gregory.

And, a very special guest will also be in Detroit to celebrate.

“Can’t forget Santa,” Gregory says. Santa will be coming from the North Pole and that will be special for all Detroiters. Just drive down, see the lights… enjoy the restaurants, shop downtown. It is Detroit’s winter destination.”