Salvation Army ‘Tree of Lights’ ceremony draws huge crowd in downtown St. Paul
An estimated 2,000 people flooded Rice Park in downtown St. Paul on Nov. 12 to celebrate The Salvation Army’s new “Tree of Lights” display and kick off the 2022 Red Kettle season. (See the Tree of Lights live, in real time, courtesy of the Hallmark Channel.)
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter spoke at the event and later called children from the audience to help him flip a giant light switch, illuminating the 40-foot-tall tree and its 25,000 lights. (View event photos.)
“It’s incredible to be here in partnership with The Salvation Army,” said Carter (pictured).
The event featured other incredible partners as well, including:
- St. Paul Downtown Alliance
- Xcel Energy
- Event company metroConnections
- Music performances by the St. Paul Police Band Drumline, youth choir Known, MPLS, and Jennifer Edwards from St. Paul Hotel’s “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
Cub grocery stores CEO Mike Stigers punctuated the ceremony by presenting a check for $25,000.
“For 365 days a year, The Salvation Army is out there taking care of the community,” said Stigers (pictured), before ceremoniously ringing the first bell of the Red Kettle season.
The Tree of Lights will be on display until Jan. 7, 2023. It’s the first time a holiday tree has been included in Rice Park decorations since 2019.
“Our hope is that the Tree of Lights will become a holiday tradition much like the Red Kettle, affirming our commitment to celebrating the season of peace, hope, and goodwill,” said Lt. Col. Dan Jennings (pictured with Stigers), leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division.
Sign up to ring bells
Registration is now open for the 2022 bell ringing season. Sign up to ring.
The Salvation Army needs more bell ringers than ever this holiday season due to rising inflation. Your time volunteering at a red kettle will help local families who cannot afford the rising costs of food, gas and housing. (Read why Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (pictured) supports The Salvation Army.)
Bell ringing is a fun and easy way to make a big difference, with hundreds of red kettle locations throughout the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota and North Dakota. Recruit your friends, family and coworkers to join you and raise even more money for hurting families.
Kettle donations allow The Salvation Army to provide food, shelter and care for thousands of local people and families.
This holiday season, The Salvation Army is calling on all of our supporters to Love Beyond. #LoveBeyond is a national Salvation Army campaign that encourages people to put love above all else, in order to show families in need that love exists beyond their most difficult situations – be it hunger, overdue bills, eviction, addiction, and other hardships. Join us by giving a donation, signing up to volunteer, or ringing bells at a Red Kettle.