The Tree Arrives at the Arch * Tree Lighting Ceremony Wednesday, December 7th; Washington Sq Music Festival Free Concert Fri. Dec. 2nd

The tree shortly after arriving

For the 85th year (by my calculation), the Washington Square Park Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on Wednesday, December 7th at 6 p.m. The tradition is older than the Rockefeller Center tree lighting! Music will be performed by the Rob Susman Brass Quartet which will lead the crowd in singing holiday songs and Santa Claus will appear. The tree will be lit every day between 4 p.m. and 1 a.m.

On Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24 at 5 p.m. the annual Christmas caroling will take place, again led by The Rob Susman Brass Quartet. It’s quite a sweet event!

The 45 foot tree and caroling song books are provided by the Washington Square Association, “one of the city’s oldest community organizations.”

In addition, this Friday night, December 2nd, there’s a free concert — IKONS, A Washington Square Music Festival Concert, Beethoven, Bellini, Tavener and Shostakovich — — at St. Joseph’s Church, 371 Sixth Avenue at Washington Place. Time: 8 p.m.

The Washington Square Music Festival offers iconic and eclectic music, both played and sung, by Festival artists soprano Lucia Hyunju Song, pianist David Oei, violinist Eriko Sato, and cellist Lutz Rath.

Trains: West 4th St stop on A, B C, D, E, F, M; Christopher St. stop on 1 train

Photo: Bill Spector