Since I can see Campus Martius from my building, it’s kind of silly to not attend most of the events going on in the evenings here. One of the bigger crowd draws being the annual Christmas Tree lighting. On my way out, I passed through the main lobby where Santa has a little section set up to do photos and meets for kids (of all ages).
In between children I grabbed a shot of him (though he sweetly called out I was welcome to come on up).
There’s no charge, but photos are on your own. They don’t have anyone taking pictures (though someone will take one with your camera if you want) and printing like some of the bigger setups.
While it’s a little late to catch him now – you can prepare for next year.
A better shot of the entire “set” taken after Santa headed back to his workshop.
After waving to Santa I headed outside. There was already a good sized crowd, and food trucks and vendors (with light up motorized toys) were already hawking their respective wares.
I zeroed in on the beignet truck which normally doesn’t visit (but you can find it regularly parked in the Eastern Market) down here. If you’ve never had one – a beignet is a French deep fried pastry that may look like a doughnut but is in no way a doughnut just like locals know a pączki is no mere jelly doughnut.
I ate one, handed one to my intern who was wandering the event with me – and passed the other two to a very happy security guard walking by.
We then bee-lined to the Ikea tent to get out of the cold. It was pretty brisk out.
Here they had cinnamon rolls (I passed, already sugared up from my beignet).
Assorted Ikea sweets.
Pepparkaka (ginger thins)
Lastly, the best item against the cold, a hot cup of Glögg. A mulled red wine (non-alcoholic in this case).
Of course, all the furnishings and decoration were from Ikea. Which worked because I totally need those electric candlesticks.
A quick shot of the unlit tree. The Norway spruce is grown in Cadillac and stands 60-ft, weighing in at about 10,000-lb and is sponsored by DTE Energy Foundation.
My intern Talha with our baseball mascot Paws.
My husband was off of work at this point and we headed back to the food trucks for dinner.
Chris was a little upset at me getting beignets without him, but made up for it by trying out the non trademark infringing cronet.
The mounted police were out – and up on the median keeping an eye on the crowd. Don’t let the sour face fool you, he was very kind in letting people come up and pet the horse and answering questions.
Finally it was almost time. We made our way over as close as we could to the tree.
NOT recommended for claustrophobic, germophobic, or otherwise panic prone people to be! There were some stands set up, but of course those filled pretty quickly as they had a view of the rink and stage.
Then POOF! It’s on. All 19,000 LEDs sparkling away. Unfortunately we couldn’t hear a word of what was being said on the stage before or after. Everyone tried to disperse but as you can imagine it’s not like anyone was going anywhere quickly in that crowd.
Luckily I turned and spied my fellow QL team member and photographer friend on duty and managed to squeeze through backwards (who the heck wants to go backwards in this mess – so it was a little easier) to him. We made a hasty retreat behind some Press barriers and happily collapsed back at our desks.
All said, it was a fun diversion for the evening, but not one I’d probably want to repeat. Perhaps I’ll stake out a nice aerial view from one of the floors in my building next year.