5 Can’t-Miss Christmas Tree Lightings in Rhode Island

These towns have some of the most extravagant Christmas tree lighting ceremonies complete with food, music and holiday cheer.

Bristol’s Grand Illumination. Photo from Bristol Christmas Festival’s Facebook page.

Tree lightings are the official kickoff to the holiday season. These towns have some of the most extravagant Christmas tree lighting ceremonies complete with food, music and holiday cheer. Stay all day or just come for the ceremonies once evening rolls around.


Warren’s tree lighting ceremony will be a part of the thirty-first annual Warren Holiday Festival. Before the lighting, families will be entertained by activities for all ages. Starting Friday at 5 p.m., Santa arrives atop a fire truck and Sparky the Fire Dog will be handing out goodies. Children can make their own ornaments in a workshop at the Rescue Squad Headquarters on Miller Street, and create cool candle holders for the procession at 243 Water Street. Wandering street performers can be found on Water and Baker Streets. Music, dance and other performances will continue throughout the evening leading up to the countdown for the tree lighting.

Fri., Nov. 29. 5–10 p.m. and Sat., Nov. 30. Noon–3 p.m. downtown Warren, 401-245-1972, warrenholidayfestival.com



This year, Bristol’s Grand Illumination is combined with the Bristol Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary Kickoff to Christmas Community Aid Drive. Starting at 5 p.m., local public schools chorus groups and dancers from Extensions School of Dance will lead us into the evening. Santa will make his grand entrance just before 6 p.m. and flip the switch on the town’s tree and the famous Bristol Snowflake with the help of Bristol’s Miss and Little Miss Fourth of July 2019.

Sat., Nov. 30. 5–6 p.m. Burnside Building, 400 Hope St., Bristol, christmasbristolri.com



The tree lighting Thursday at 6 p.m. will kick off the Wickford Village Festival of Lights that extends through Sunday. Followed by visits from Santa in Updike Park and performances by the North Kingstown Community Chorus and North Kingstown High School band, the tree lighting is the first sign of Wickford Village turning into Dickens Village.

Thurs., Dec. 5. 6 p.m. Wickford Village, 401-295-5566, southcountyri.com



The 2019 PVD Winter Lights Market and Tree Lighting will showcase a variety of seasonal events such as holiday musical groups, short films for the kiddos, parades and a selection of food from Rhode Island food vendors and restaurants. There will be two tree lightings: Fri., Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Providence City Hall and Sat., Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at BankNewport City Center.

Fri., Dec. 6. 5–9 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 7. Noon–9 p.m. Kennedy Plaza, 401-331-5544, eatdrinkri.com



Bowen’s Wharf’s forty-ninth annual Christmas tree lighting and Christmas village celebration is an all-day event filled with food, music and shopping. Children’s activities including face painting and a Christmas carol sing-along will be offered from noon until the tree lighting at 6 p.m. with Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving shortly after.

Sat., Dec. 7. Noon–6 p.m. Bowen’s Wharf, 13 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport, 401-849-2243, bowenswharf.com



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