99th Year! Washington Square Park’s Christmas Tree Lighting Wed. December 6th

The 99th Year of the Washington Square Park Christmas tree lighting will take place Wednesday, December 6th at 6 p.m. under the Arch. Can you believe next year will be 100 years? The Washington Square tree lighting ceremony is older than Rockefeller Center’s tradition.

The 40 foot high tree will be lit at 6 p.m. (sharp!). The Rob Susman Brass Quartet will perform and soprano Linseigh Green will lead the caroling. This year, NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue will participate in the ceremony. Carols will be sung, Santa will appear.

The tree will be lit daily until sometime in January between 4 p.m. and 1 a.m.!

Christmas Eve Caroling Under the Arch

Sunday, December 24th, at 5 p.m., Christmas Eve caroling, a community favorite, will take place under the Arch again with the Rob Susman Quartet and Linseigh Green. It’s always festive so show up if you can.

History of the Tree: At One Time, Environmentally Friendly Options Were Put in Place

In 1924, after the first Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the tree was planted in the park. For now, there is a new tree cut down every year for the purpose of appearing under the Arch for the holidays; the tree traditionally arrives from Vermont.

In early years, the lyrics to the Christmas carols were projected onto the Arch; now there are songbooks and the tree goes through the chipper for mulch. Things to aspire to – being environmentally friendly, once again.

In 2020, due to the pandemic, the tree lighting was virtual.


The tree lighting is sponsored by the Washington Square Association, the oldest neighborhood community organization in NYC.

Top Photo: New York City Gay Men’s Chorus performing recently at the Park: washingtonsquareparkculture via Instagram
Bottom Photo (2011): Gabriel Sierra via Instagram.

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