Arts & Entertainment

Downtown brightens up for tree lighting

December 6, 2013
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Downtown brightens up for tree lighting
A worker installs a 42-foot tree outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Photo via

The lights have already been strung along Monroe Center in downtown Grand Rapids, but tonight Rosa Parks Circle will join the holiday spirit as it transitions into an ice rink and the annual tree-lighting ceremony takes place outside of the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Tree lighting

The tree-lighting ceremony will be from 5:30-5:45 p.m.

Make-a-Wish recipient and cancer survivor Kristi Kortman, who will be joined by her family, will have the honor of pulling the switch to illuminate 40,000 LED lights on the 42-foot tree for the first time this holiday season.

Representatives from the GRAM and Grand Rapids city leaders will also participate in the ceremony.

Megan Sauer, a figure skater and senior at Forest Hills Northern, is scheduled to perform a special skating routine to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

After the tree has been lit, guests can head indoors to explore the GRAM galleries and participate in free hands-on family activities. Admission is $5 after 5 p.m., though special exhibition pricing applies for the Masterpieces of American Landscape Painting.

Ice skating

The Rosa Parks Circle ice rink will open for the season on Saturday at 5 p.m., according to the city of Grand Rapids Facebook page.

Window Wonderland

While downtown, visitors are also encouraged to vote for their favorite Window Wonderland, a holiday-themed competition where Kendall College of Art and Design students have decorated downtown storefront windows.

By voting, people are entered to win prizes from downtown merchants.

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