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Tree lighting hopes to draw people downtown all winter

Daniel Boothe

Downtown Grand Rapids will sparkle a little brighter after Friday evening as city officials will kick off the holiday season with the lighting of the Grand Rapids Christmas Tree.

While the event has taken place for a number of years, the ceremony changed its name this year to “Light up Downtown.” Andy Guy the COO of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. says, the name change is not only in reference to the holiday lights that will glow throughout the city, but also in the hopes of keeping the revitalized downtown area thriving during the winter months.

“You know we are looking for fun new ways to bring people downtown especially in the wintertime when a lot of us start to hibernate, so really focusing an event around the kickoff of not just the holiday season, but also really just a kickoff to the winter season and really starting to change that mindset, that winter is not something that we hide from, but that we can actually get out and celebrate in our central city.”

In addition to the opening of the ice rink at Rosa Parks Circle, a number of other events are planned for the celebration including the lighting of the McKay Tower Dome, a light show on the Blue Bridge and a performance from the West Michigan University Synchronized Skating Team.

The event is free to the public, and is set to begin at 5:00 P.M.

A complete list of details can be found here.

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