Sterling Heights

Dodge Park Ice Rink, A Sterling Christmas event return to Sterling Heights

What’s happening: Santa Claus is comin’ to town. After COVID-19 canceled a host of time-honored traditions in 2020, Sterling Heights is preparing to bring back a Christmas-time favorite: Now in its 44th year, A Sterling Christmas returns to Dodge Park this Saturday, Dec. 4.

What’s planned: The annual Christmas tradition, which is free and open to the public, begins at 5:45 p.m. in the city’s Dodge Park and runs until 8:30 p.m. Activities planned this year include the tree lighting, holiday music and caroling, trackless train and horse-drawn wagon rides, and a petting farm with pony rides. Warming fires and refreshments will be on-site to keep people merry and bright.

Santa Claus returns: Santa Claus will be on hand for the festivities and available for photos. Professional photography opportunities will also be offered for purchase.

Dodge Park Ice Rink opens: In the days leading up to the festival, the Dodge Park Ice Rink opens in the Farmers Market Pavilion on Wednesday, Dec. 1. The ice rink, which remains open throughout the winter months, is free for Sterling Heights residents and costs $5 for non-residents. Skate rentals are available for $3.

But wait, there’s more: That’s not the only holiday fun Sterling Heights has planned this season. The Great Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt has also opened, offering participants a chance to win a My Pizza Place gift card. The contest encourages people to drive around the neighborhoods of Sterling Heights and enjoy residents’ Christmas lights and decorations. To win the scavenger hunt, participants are tasked with finding and taking photos of 20 items in holiday light displays, a list that includes a set of two candy canes, an inflatable reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and more.

Entrants must be a resident of Sterling Heights to participate. Email the 20 photos to by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15, for a chance to win.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.