With hot drinks in hand, Amber Welch, Devin Welch, Brendan Welch and Derek Marx take in last year’s Berkley Holiday Lights Parade and tree lighting ceremony.

With hot drinks in hand, Amber Welch, Devin Welch, Brendan Welch and Derek Marx take in last year’s Berkley Holiday Lights Parade and tree lighting ceremony.

File photo by Donna Dalziel


Holiday Lights Parade to celebrate 15 years in Berkley

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published November 22, 2019

BERKLEY — Nighttime in Berkley will be filled with holiday spirit, as the yearly parade and tree lighting ceremony will return at the beginning of December.

The 15th annual Berkley Holiday Lights Parade and tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in the downtown.

The parade will feature marching bands from Berkley High School and Chandler Park Academy, more than 50 participating Berkley groups and community organizations, and Santa Claus himself.

On 12 Mile Road, the parade route will travel east from Cummings Street to Coolidge Highway and end at City Hall, 3338 Coolidge Highway. The parade will end with Santa Claus descending from his sleigh float to officially light the tree. He will then take visits from children inside the nearby gazebo.

Besides the parade, parents can take the kids to a free petting farm and pony rides, which will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. at 12 Mile Road and Tyler Street.

The festivities also will have available horse-drawn carriage rides after the parade at City Hall on Rosemont Street. It will cost $5 per person, with a family rate available for groups of more than four people, and will take people through decorated Berkley neighborhoods.

There also will be an outdoor warming station with s’mores from 1 to 5 p.m. at 12 Mile Road and Griffith Street. This was something event Chairperson Cinda Coon said she was very excited to add to this year’s event.

“I finally jumped through all the hoops that the city wanted, and so we are definitely going to have that,” she said.

From 1 to 4:30 p.m., free trolley rides will return to the event to take downtown visitors throughout the shopping district.

“We’re going to have several trolley stops through downtown 12 Mile and Coolidge, stopping at different trolley stops for businesses,” Coon said. “Our businesses will be offering specials, and some of them will have free hot chocolate and free cookies and stuff like that.”

This will be the first Holiday Lights Parade that Natalie Price will participate in as a member of the City Council. She said that she is especially excited to attend the event with her kids, as this will be their first time seeing Price in her new role.

“My kids were not able to attend the swearing-in ceremony. This is really going to be their first time to see me in an official role, and that will be exciting for all of us, to be able to kind of celebrate this together,” she said. “They know that my responsibilities on council take me away from them, and this is a great way to show them some of that joy and pride in serving the city. I can’t wait to participate in it with them.”

Councilman Ross Gavin knows the feeling, as last year was his first time walking in the parade.

“You get a chance to kind of walk down the center of the street and wave to residents, interact with folks,” he said. “Everybody’s in such a festive mood; it’s just a wonderful time of the season. So it’s a lot of fun. I really, really enjoyed it. I actually had my son with me as well.”