Photo: Jon Hewett/WWJ

'Tis The Season: Detroit's Christmas Tree Lit At Campus Martius

"Everything just looks beautiful. It’s festive."

November 16, 2018 - 8:03 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) -- Call it the official start of the holiday season.

As Detroit's 60-foot Norwegian spruce was lit up Friday night at Campus Martius Park, Downtown Detroit is officially decked out in holiday cheer and the season has arrived.

WWJ's Jon Hewett was on hand for the 15th annual ceremony, speaking to one Detroiter who says the lights make a big difference in making Detroit cheerful.

“Seeing how the city of Detroit transforms, you just feel the electricity here," the woman said. "You can feel how people are really getting in the spirit of the holidays."

Several people at the celebration took time to reflect on what the event means to Detroit's comeback, including first-time event goer Kim James.

“This is actually my very first year being a part of it, and the lights, everything just looks beautiful. It’s festive," James said. "The city definitely has come back and I’m very, very proud of what’s going on in our city."

“When you come to an event like this and you see the city lit up and you see all different faces and all different races, you see that there is civility here in Detroit,” Stephanie Griffin told Hewett.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was there to flip the switch, along with DTE vice chairman David Meador, his daughter Belle and their service dog, Magic.

Speaking with WWJ earlier in the day Robert Gregory, from the Downtown Detroit Partnership, said last year's ceremony drew nearly 50,000 people and they were expecting a similar crowd Friday night.

In addition to the main ceremony at Campus Martius, the second annual Light Up Beacon Park took place just blocks away, featuring live performances and a live stream of the Campus Martius celebration, where 12-time Grammy Award winning Gospel artist and Detroit native CeCe Winans performed.

With the Christmas tree lit and the ice rink open for skating, the holiday season is officially here in Detroit.