FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                  CONTACT:  Stephanie Kotschevar, Experience Grand Rapids

November 30, 2015                                                                         616-233-3577,




Celebration will include Christmas tree lighting, Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink opening



Grand Rapids, Mich. – Thursday, December 3 at 5:30 P.M., Experience Grand Rapids will host the Grand Rapids Holiday Celebration at Rosa Parks Circle. The event will feature performances by a skater from the Greater Grand Rapids Figure Skating Club and Opera Grand Rapids Chorus. Three year-old Carlee, with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, will light the 47-foot-tall Christmas tree from Dutchman Tree Farms in Manton, Mich. Carlee is undergoing treatment for Leukemia at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and will realize her dream of traveling to Disney World this March.


The return of the Grand Rapids Holiday Celebration and tree lighting is due in large part to the generosity of downtown businesses and the collaborative efforts of Experience Grand Rapids, The City of Grand Rapids and Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. The grassroots fundraising effort was organized by Charlie Secchia and John Inhulsen. Rockford Construction safely installed the Christmas tree and Shine hung the tree lights.


Eva Aguirre Cooper, WOOD-TV8, will emcee the event. The schedule will run as follows:


5:15 P.M. – Opera Grand Rapids Chorus Performance

5:30 P.M. – Doug Small, Experience Grand Rapids President & CEO

5:35 P.M. – Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids Mayor-Elect

5:40 P.M. – Charlie Secchia and John Inhulsen

5:45 P.M. – Carlee (age 3), Make-A-Wish Foundation, will light the Christmas tree

5:50 P.M. – Kris Larson, DGRI, will announce the 2015 DGRI Window Wonderland winner and open Rosa

       Park Circle Ice Rink

5:55 P.M. – Greater Grand Rapids Figure Skating Club skater performance

6:00 P.M. – Event concludes


During the celebration, the Amway Grand Plaza will serve complimentary hot cocoa to the first 300 guests and the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum will have an area with a craft workshop for kids. Following the event the Grand Rapids Art Museum will be open to the public, free of charge, until 9 P.M.