View from the Fountain Plaza: The Tree and the Arch


Sunday afternoon: the Washington Square tree as seen through the Arch.

The tree will be lit Wednesday, December 7th at 6 p.m.

Photo: Cathryn.

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

Holiday Events — Tree Arrives by the Washington Square Arch Monday, November 28th!

Last year's tree

More info on the holiday events at the Park to come but here are the basics:

Monday, November 28th Christmas tree arrives from Vermont by the Arch (at 4 a.m.!) (It’s unclear if it gets decorated that day but swing on by!)

Friday, December 2nd 8 p.m. Washington Square Music Festival Holiday Concert FREE in St. Joseph’s Church, 371 Sixth Avenue

Wednesday, December 7th 6 p.m. Tree-lighting ceremony & caroling

Saturday, Dec. 24th, 5 p.m. Christmas Eve Caroling

Washington Square Park Annual Tree Lighting Tuesday, December 7th & Caroling Friday, December 24th

Last year's ceremony - tree lighting under the Arch

CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS IN WASHINGTON SQUARE WITH THE ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING AND CAROLING

Washington Square Tradition Older than Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

Two Events: Tuesday, December 7th and Friday, December 24th, 2010

Washington Square Park will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony under the Arch on Tuesday, December 7th at 6 p.m.  This will be the 84th year a tree has been lit. The Washington Square ceremony is one of the oldest tree lighting traditions in New York City, older than the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting! That annual tree lighting tradition began in 1931 making it 79 years old, five years younger.

After the tree is lit, song leader Mary Hurlbut, accompanied by the Rob Susman Brass Quartet, will sing holiday songs.  There will be a Santa Claus present. 

On Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24th at 5 p.m., swing by for caroling under the Arch, another annual tradition, led by the Rob Susman Brass Quartet.

The Washington Square Park Christmas tree – 45 feet tall! – will be lit in front of the Arch at Fifth Avenue between the hours of 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. throughout the holiday season until early to mid January.

Songbooks for the two events will be provided by the Washington Square Association which also donates the tree.  The Washington Square Association was founded in 1906 and is one of the city’s oldest community organizations.

Photo: Ken Howard

Happy New Year 2010!

2009 Tree Lighting Side View Arch

This photo is a bit belated from the Annual Tree lighting* at the Park December 10th. I’ve run a few photos of the lit Christmas Tree at the Washington Square Arch of late but it’s so pretty and historic all at once.

*Not to be a downer but having attended the Tree Lighting ceremony for the first time this year, recognizing it is one of the oldest traditions (older than the Rockefeller Center tree lighting), I think that the ceremony could be improved a bit. I gather the Washington Square Association is in charge. I’m sure it’s a lot of work but it really needs some fine tuning. Just my cursory thoughts on the subject.

More to come on the New Year 2010Wishing you a great year to come!

Photo: Cat

Washington Square Park Tree Lighting 2009 Thursday, December 10th; Caroling Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24th — at The Arch

CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS IN WASHINGTON SQUARE WITH THE ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING AND CAROLING

Two Events: Thursday, December 10th and Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Washington Square Park will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony under the Arch on Thursday, December 10th at 6 p.m.  This will be the 83rd year the tree has been lit.  The Washington Square ceremony is older than the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting!  That tree lighting tradition began in 1931 making it now 78 years old.

On Thursday, December 10th, after the tree is lit at 6 p.m., song leader Mary Hurlbut, accompanied by the Rob Susman Brass Quartet, will sing holiday songs.  There will be a Santa Claus present. 

On Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24th at 5 p.m. — celebrate the holiday with carols led by the Rob Susman Brass Quartet at the Washington Square Arch.

The Washington Square Park Christmas tree will be lit in front of the Arch at Fifth Avenue between the hours of 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. throughout the holiday season.

At both events, songbooks will be provided by the Washington Square Association which also donates the tree.  The Washington Square Association was founded in 1906 and is one of the city’s oldest community organizations.  For 83 years, it has sponsored carol singing under the arch.

* Note: 2010 Tree lighting info here.

Photo: Ken Howard