Washington Square Park Christmas Tree Arrives Early Monday; 90th Tree Lighting Ceremony Takes Place Wednesday, December 10th


This year will mark the 90th year of tree lighting ceremonies at Washington Square Park. This means the tradition is older than Rockefeller Center’s! The tree arrives from Vermont at 4 a.m. tomorrow, Monday morning, unadorned. It will be lit at a ceremony on Wednesday, December 10th at 5 6 p.m. (Be prompt ! – they light it very quickly.)

At the first ceremony under the Arch in 1924, the words to the carols were projected onto the Arch and the tree was planted in the park! (A tradition which it would be nice to return to…) Now, paper songbooks (from trees) are provided and the tree gets thrown in the chipper.

The Washington Square Association coordinates the tree lighting ceremony and caroling (traditionally just snippets of the songs are sung). Santa Claus will appear on the 10th. There will also be Christmas Eve caroling under the Arch, December 24th at 5 p.m.

Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:

The History of the Washington Square Christmas Tree — Tree from First Tree Lighting Ceremony in 1924 Was Planted in the Park In Spirit of “Wise Use” December 20, 2011

Photo: Cathryn

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2 thoughts on “Washington Square Park Christmas Tree Arrives Early Monday; 90th Tree Lighting Ceremony Takes Place Wednesday, December 10th”

  1. Frankly, the Pope and the Mayor should outlaw chopping down perfectly healthy trees for Christmas, and not only the giant ones that New York City simply has to kill, display, and woodchip every year at both Rockefeller Center and Washington Square Park. (“Yea, let’s find the biggest and the most beautiful tree every year and then chop it down” — seems to be a fitting but sick ritual in a society filled with the celebration of death and destruction.) It would be one thing to transplant and re-display the same tree every year, and quite another to kill it. Same with all the smaller Christmas trees that people buy and install in their homes for a few months, before lugging them out to the curb ….

    Mitchel Cohen
    Brooklyn Greens/Green Party

  2. Good points, Mitchel.

    thanks for your comment. amazing that in 1924 this was seriously being discussed and has faded so into the background now.



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