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At 5:30 p.m. on November 30, the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) held its annual tree lighting ceremony.
GRAM director Dana Friis-Hansen spoke at the ceremony as well as Mayor Heartwell, who introduced ice skater Kimberly Scott. Scott danced to an instrumental version of “Joy to the World” on the Rosa Parks ice rink.
Following the performance, it was time to light the tree.
“Three… Two… One!” the crowd shouted, and the mayor hit the switch, lighting the eight mile string of 40,000 energy-efficient LED light bulbs that hung from the tree.
After the ceremony, visitors had several activities to choose from, including riding the horse-drawn carriage, shopping downtown, visiting the museum, seeing a performance of Magic and Music and skating on the ice rink.
The Rosa Parks rink opened after the ceremony and many took the chance to skate. Young adults whizzed around the parents taking children out on the rink for the first time. Couples and friends enjoyed conversations and a leisurely skate.
The tree used in the ceremony was a 42-foot-tall blue spruce. The tree came from the Cadillac area and was set up Monday, Nov. 26.