The City of Grand Rapids officially kicks off the holiday season Friday, Dec. 2 with the annual Christmas tree lighting. The all-ages event is 5 to 7 p.m. along Monroe Center St. NW, between Monroe Ave. NW and Ottawa Ave. NW, near the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
“We look forward to this event every year,” Evette Pittman, the City’s special events manager, said. “The community knows when the tree is lit, Grand Rapids has officially kicked off the Holiday season. More and more people join us each year and we are proud to add to our city’s vibrancy and bring holiday cheer to those who live, work and play in Grand Rapids.”
This year’s event includes free s’mores and hot chocolate from the City’s Parks Department, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, and GRPD; cultural booths highlighting how holidays are celebrated around the world from Edelweiss Club of Grand Rapids, Fiesta Mexicana, and Asian – Pacific Festival, and entertainment featuring the Girls Choral Academy, Western Michigan University Ice Skating Team, Golden Tiger Kung Fu, Grand Rapids Sled Wings Adaptive Hockey, and The Salvation Army Brass Band. Gilda’s Club- LaughFest, Festival of the Arts, Grand Rapids Public Library, Experience GR, ArtPrize, and City of Grand Rapids Customer Service and Innovation (311) are also hosting a variety of family activities, arts and crafts, and giveaways during the event. The fun includes Nutcracker characters from the Grand Rapids Ballet, Whoville characters, Crash from the West Michigan Whitecaps, Griff from Grand Rapids Griffins, crafts from The Home Depot, free books from ReadGR, and members of the City’s Public Works, Water, Fire and Police departments will be on hand to show off their vehicles. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance to offer free photos for kids and families sponsored by Whole Foods and Matrix Entertainment.
Sponsors Charlie Secchia and John Inhulsen along with City Manager Mark Washington will be on hand to flip the switch to light the tree which will be televised live by WOOD TV 8.
The event co-sponsors are Charlie Secchia & Family, John Inhulsen & Family, and Rockford Construction.