'Tree of Lights' celebration ushers in 2023 Red Kettle season

Nov 13, 2023

The Salvation Army’s 2nd annual "Tree of Lights" and Red Kettle Kickoff event on Nov. 12 at Rice Park in St. Paul lit up the lives of hundreds of people who showed up to celebrate the start of a new Christmas season. (View event photos.)

The 2nd annual event featured Minnesota Vikings legend Cris Carter and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter (pictured together at right), along with musical performances by The Voice semi-finalist Kat Perkins and Jovonta Patton, a six-time #1 chart-topping Billboard recording artist. (View a Facebook Live recording of the event.)

“I’m here because The Salvation Army changed my life,” Cris Carter said, explaining how his family received food, clothing and other services from The Salvation Army while he was growing up in Ohio. “Please help me in supporting The Salvation Army.” 

He and Mayor Carter punctuated the event by lighting the 40-foot-tall tree and its 25,000 lights, as colorful fireworks exploded above. 

“Thank you to The Salvation Army,” Mayor Carter said. “Thank you to all of the incredible partners who made this event happen.” 

Those incredible partners included:

The Tree of Lights will be on display until Jan. 6, 2024. 

“The Tree of Lights is becoming a holiday tradition much like the Red Kettle, affirming our commitment to celebrating the season of peace, hope, and goodwill,” said Lt. Col. Randall Polsley, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division.

Sign up to ring bells

Registration is open for the 2023 bell ringing season. 

Bell ringing is a fun and easy way to make a big difference, with hundreds of kettle locations throughout the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota and North Dakota. Raise even more money by recruiting your friends, family and coworkers to join.

Thousands of volunteer bell ringers are needed. Sign up now and help The Salvation Army provide life-changing support for people and families in need.

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 donationsigning up to volunteer, or ringing bells at a Red Kettle.

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