This year, downtown Detroit will experience the kind of holiday season it hasn’t seen in decades.

“Winter Magic,” Campus Martius Park’s seasonal celebration, will kick off on Friday, November 16 at 5 p.m. with the traditional Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by the DTE Energy Foundation. Quicken Loans is the presenting sponsor of the Winter Magic Season.

“Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit” will bring retail back to downtown Detroit for the holiday season. The stores, sponsored by Quicken Loans and Somerset Collection’s CityLoft, will debut on Friday, November 16 and will be open Thursday-Saturday through December 22.

“We are thrilled to make our traditional Winter Magic celebration even better with additional activities during which Campus Martius Park and Woodward Avenue will be bustling with events for people of all ages,” said Robert Gregory, President of The Detroit 300 Conservancy, the non-profit organization that oversees Campus Martius Park.

Quicken Loans and Somerset Collection’s CityLoft are partnering to activate the storefronts on the 1200 block of Woodward, between Grand River and Gratiot.

“We are very excited to partner with Somerset Collection to bring new retail to downtown Detroit for the holiday shopping season,” said Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder, Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

Tree Lighting The season kicks off with the Tree Lighting festivities on Friday, November 16 at 5 p.m. in Campus Martius Park, sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation. The tree will be lit at approximately 7:45 p.m. There will also be:

Ice skating shows
Activities for children
Horse-drawn carriage rides
Musical performances

 “The Detroit Tree Lighting has evolved into a holiday tradition for many Detroit families,” said Paul Hillegonds, DTE Energy senior vice president, Corporate Affairs. “The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to sponsor this event for the past nine years, and we are honored to usher in Winter Magic with a memorable, family-oriented celebration for the city.”

This year’s 55-foot tall tree weighs over 10,000 pounds and has a 30-foot span of branches that will be decorated with more than three miles of wire and 19,000 LED lights. An additional 170,000 LED lights will be installed on 78 trees throughout Campus Martius Park and 32 trees along the 1200 block of Woodward between Grand River and Gratiot.

Christmas Wonderfest Holiday Market & Holiday Cheer Garden Friday-Sunday from November 16 - November 25, Campus Martius Park will be home to the Christmas Wonderfest Holiday Market. More than 50 retailers will offer gifts including holiday imports, unique art and apparel, Detroit merchandise and more.

At the Holiday Cheer Garden, guests can enjoy craft beers, holiday wines, warm winter cocktails and more from popular bars and restaurants, including E.G. Nick’s, which will have a special eatery.

Woodward Retail Shopping

During Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit, the following retailers will open shop on the 1200 block of Woodward:

Somerset Collection’s CityLoft, an assortment of more than 40 stores from the upscale mall in Troy

Moosejaw, popular national outdoor retailer
The Detroit Shoppe, a store with Detroit-themed merchandise
Santa’s Wonderland, a shop where children can buy and wrap inexpensive gifts for family members
Detroit Art Shoppe, a market featuring original work from Detroit artists
Spinergy, a fitness studio with stationary bikes
Papa Joe’s Snack Rack, a mini-market with a sampling of products from Papa Joe’s

For more information about Winter Magic and Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit, please contact The Detroit 300 Conservancy at (313) 962-0101 or visit www.campusmartiuspark.org. For more information about opportunities in Detroit, please visit http://opportunitydetroit.com/.
Photograph Daniel Lippitt

Excerpt:

“There are a lot of schemers that show up in this city who think they’re going to save Detroit,” says Zak Pashak. “Coming here and starting a business does a great thing for the city, but don’t say you’re saving it. This is a serious place to come to. It’s not frivolous. People are coming here to try and contribute to a really interesting community.”

To convey the spirit of his plan to make bicycles in Detroit, Zak Pashak feels a tour is in order. At the wheel of his worn Toyota Prius, the 32-year-old entrepreneur narrates as the sprawl of Detroit unfolds, revealing a city broken but not dead. We pass the obvious blights symptomatic of a long-depressed city: rampant vacancy, overgrown land and lots of people sitting on stoops with nothing to do. But there are also signs of life, including a patch of downtown streets that people have taken to walking again and new businesses spun from an emergent entrepreneurial spirit. Local leaders are hoping these seeds will help to pull the city out of its 40-year funk. It was partly this spirit, partly an “irrational fascination with Michigan” and partly a need for change that drew Pashak to the Motor City from his hometown of Calgary two years ago.

Many Calgarians will know him as a precocious bar owner and music promoter who lost a close race for city alderman in 2010. Pashak’s latest venture, however, has nothing to do with Calgary or concert spaces. It’s a company called Detroit Bikes. Pashak plans to mass-produce bicycles in a city that was once famed for auto manufacturing but is now known more for its murder rate and the sheer scale of its emptied neighbourhoods. Since the 1950s, Detroit’s population has dropped from nearly two million to roughly 700,000, shedding 25 per cent of its residents in the past decade alone. The decline runs deep, some say starting with the race riots of 1967, followed by a long history of corrupt local government, rapid suburbanization and the fall of car manufacturing, compounded more recently by the global recession.

As we cruise the wide, empty boulevards into the city’s grittier pockets, Pashak points out his favourite buildings, ornate vestiges of better times. There are at least two he half-heartedly considered buying (for practically nothing) and remaking into some kind of business, perhaps a concert hall. Unlike Detroit’s heyday as a boomtown, its utter blankness and thirst for revival is now attracting a new kind of industrialist, people like Pashak who have money, ideas and the audacity to carry them out.

Overdressed on this muggy day in long sleeves and oversized chinos, Pashak walks with small quick steps and talks about everything in the same even, unexcitable tone. It might be that he is someone who’d rather do than talk about doing, but when it comes to media attention he’s used to reciting his story. He comes from a well-known Calgary family: his father, Barry Pashak, was a local NDP MLA; his mother, Jackie Flanagan, is a philanthropist and founder of Alberta Views magazine; and his ex-stepfather, Allan Markin, is a wealthy oilman and the former chairman of Canadian Natural Resources. Pashak has also garnered his own attention: starting businesses in your twenties gets you in the papers.

At an early age, Pashak showed an interest in money and, particularly, how to grow it. When he was eight, he requested that the child-support money his mother had been saving for him be invested in his step-dad’s oil company. It was a sweet boyhood gesture that would spark a passion for investing. “Every morning I’d wake up and read stock reports and make investments,” Pashak says of his high school years. “I had brokers.” By the time he was 20 he’d made enough money to buy a house just before Calgary’s real-estate market took off. The well-publicized divorce of his mother and Markin landed her a sizeable settlement, of which she gave Pashak and his sister “a small amount,” he says, enough for him to open a music club in 2004 called Broken City. (He’s since sold it, but still owns a quarter share and the building.) “That ended up being a significantly helpful investment, just the real estate,” he says.

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Detroit Lions Standout Wide Receiver Nate Burleson is excited to host his 2nd Annual ‘Nate Burleson Celebrity Server Night’ presented by Quicken Loans. This is an exclusive fundraising event for Burleson’s CATCH Foundation at Morton’s Detroit (Troy), located at 888 W. Big Beaver, Ste. 111, on Monday, November 12, 2012 beginning at 7 p.m.

The evening will feature Burleson and many of his Lions teammates trading their pads for aprons and serve a four-course meal to guests for this special evening. Last year’s special servers included Calvin Johnson, Titus Young, Stephan Logan, Rob Sims, Drew Stanton, Maurice Stovall and more of the 2011 Detroit Lions Roster. The event will also include live and silent auctions.

"Last year was such a great time it seems like everyone is ready to participate in this event again. The guys had a blast serving all the guests, we were able to raise a lot of money last year which helped us adopt families in the Metro Detroit area for Christmas, take kids shopping for their holiday gifts and this year we hope to expand on that and continue to help more throughout Detroit this season,” said Burleson. “Again, I have to thank Quicken Loans for helping put on this event and Morton’s for the great venue. I hope we can sell this event out again and make it a huge success!”

The purpose of the Nate Burleson CATCH Foundation, which was started in 2009, is to reach and teach area children and their families by providing them with educational tools to succeed as well as enriching their lives by showing them how to care for others, themselves and their future.

Tickets for this exclusive event are $250/ticket (Sponsor tables of 8 are also available) and can be purchased by calling Sherrie Handrinos, Boost 1 Marketing, at 734-341-6859. For more information, please visit, www.nateburlesonfoundation.org.
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