New Caroling in the City event to temporarily close Main Street Dec. 17

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published December 5, 2017

ROCHESTER — A new holiday event will help complement the city’s popular Big, Bright Light Show.

About 12 years ago, Rochester Downtown Development Authority Director Kristi Trevarrow created the Big, Bright Light Show — which lights up the downtown’s storefronts with more than 1 million multicolored Christmas lights and brings over 1 million people into town — turning downtown Rochester into one of metro Detroit’s most popular Christmas destinations.

But keeping the show fresh is something that’s always on her mind.

“Over the last couple of years, people are calling to come to Big, Bright and saying, ‘I’ve seen the lights. What else do you have?’ We never want Big, Bright to be old hat to people or for them to say, ‘Oh yes, I’ve seen that,’” Trevarrow said. “I think people are just finding that we are a good holiday destination, but they want things to do after they see the lights or before they see the lights or another reason to come and see the lights.”

So Trevarrow came up with Caroling in the City, a new holiday event that she hopes will help showcase the lights in a fresh, new way while drawing more people downtown.

“What could be more hometown and memorable than being able to have your whole community together and having a big community carol, complete with songbooks and hot cocoa? It just felt right and felt like a fit,” she said.

Caroling in the City, the newest addition to the downtown holiday event calendar, will be held 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17, directly on Main Street. The event will temporarily close Main Street from Second to University.

Trevarrow said Caroling in the City will be a cornucopia of holiday merriment, including live entertainment, an ugly sweater contest, a Christmas cookie eating contest, holiday sweets and, of course, a communitywide group sing, complete with songbooks.

“The best way that I can describe it is, it’s a mashup of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘Elf.’ It’s going to be sweet; it’s going to be fun; it’s going to be corny. It’s just going to be more holiday fun than you can shake a candy cane at,” she said. “Everything other than the food is going to be free, which is how we like to do all of our events down here. I think it is going to be a super special night for our community.”

Deputy City Manager Nik Banda said he thinks Caroling in the City is going to be his new favorite holiday event.

“If you can picture closing the road off, it’s snowing, they have chestnuts roasting on an open fire on the corners and people all singing Christmas carols — how cool is that going to be?” he said.

For more information, call (248) 656-0060 or visit