Knowledge Center

Detroit Aglow

Each winter, the various departments within DDP work in tandem to light up Downtown Detroit – hence Detroit Aglow!

The BIZ illuminates Downtown with seasonal lighting on light poles and trees that enhance the physical characteristics of the Downtown parks and streets. Specifically, the BIZ focuses on pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular gateways to make dark winter traveling brighter and safer.

The DDP Parks team (Conservancy) creates a season of programming centered around the tree lighting ceremony and the popular ice-skating rink. The Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony celebrates the start of the holiday season with a beautiful 60-ft Michigan tree illuminated with over 19,000 LED lights. In 2017, the DDP Parks team expanded the footprint of the ceremony through Light Up Beacon Park. Both events provide first-class, family-friendly entertainment that unites the community in celebration and illuminates the holiday spirit.

With a curated mix of local and national talent performing in the televised show, the ceremony continues to be the largest single-day event in Campus Martius Park, with attendance increasing from 30,000 in 2015 to 100,000 in 2019. The audience continues to reflect the region’s diversity. As a result of its enduring popularity, media coverage has also increased significantly.

The goals of Detroit Aglow are to celebrate community and encourage people to experience an inviting and exciting Downtown. The success of the supplemental seasonal lighting program, tree lighting ceremony and subsequent seasonal activities play a critical role in creating a vibrant and sustainable Downtown. Perceptions of Downtown Detroit have improved greatly during the last 15 years and the entire metropolitan region benefits from the positive impressions and sense of community inspired by the ceremony.

Project Details

Detroit Aglow

Downtown Detroit Partnership Inc


Public Space Management and Operations
$7500001 and over
$ 945,000

Project Resources