Annual tree lighting ceremony at GRAM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The people came out to watch the Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony hosted by the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

After the 50-year-old, 40-foot blue spruce is lit with 40,000 LED bulbs, local caroling group ‘Voices of Freedom’ performed on the GRAM terrace as visitors were welcomed inside by Grand Rapids Ballet dancers for their first look at the new exhibition, Re-Envisioning The Nutcracker.

>>Photos: Annual tree lighting at GRAM

The ballet features the creative vision of Eugene Lee and East Grand Rapids native Chris Van Allsburg. Van Allsburg is also the renowned author of ‘The Polar Express’, ‘Jumangi’ and other classics.

Admission to the GRAM is free to the public Thursday night.

The tree was found in northern Missaukee County. A lifelong employee of that county’s road commission, Carl McCune, transplanted the tree as a seedling at his home. He rescued it from being bulldozed by a local road project.

Lydia Bowens, 5, with Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan flipped the switch that turned on the holiday tree lights this year.

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