The Tradition Continues: Mayor Walsh and Cumulus Media Announce Virtual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration

City begins assembly of Clinton Square Christmas tree as countdown to Nov. 27 lighting begins

Syracuse, N.Y. – As the assembly of the Clinton Square Christmas tree began, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Cumulus Media announced plans today for a virtual “Home for the Holidays” tree lighting celebration in 2020.  The 42-foot tall tree in the heart of downtown Syracuse will remain the focal point, only this year its illumination will be captured in an hour-long, online special produced in partnership with Cumulus. Continuing the long tradition of lighting the tree the day after Thanksgiving, the program is scheduled to stream from the City of Syracuse YouTube channel on Friday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. for viewers to enjoy from the comfort and safety of their own home.

Syracuse youth at the City of Syracuse Christmas tree 2019

“With the disruption presented by COVID-19, this year, more than ever, our community needs a way to celebrate our annual tree lighting in Clinton Square. I want to thank Cumulus Media for stepping forward and helping us keep this Christmas tree lighting tradition alive. Cumulus is working with our team in Parks and Recreation to create a program that will be a memorable experience for people in a safe and entertaining way this year,” said Mayor Walsh. “Home for the Holidays will, once again, showcase our community, its diversity and the holiday spirit that radiates across the City during this time of year.”

A range of entertainment is planned for all ages to enjoy. National acts AJR and Shaed will headline the event. Special performances by local dance troupes and musical talents, along with neighborhood tree lighting highlights will precede the recorded lighting of the Clinton Square tree led by Mayor Walsh. Appearances from our multi-lingual members of the community will also be incorporated, in addition to several Santa sightings.

“By producing this Home for the Holidays special, we are able to market this special annual event through far reaching broadcast media and digital platforms. No longer a one night event, the story  will live on, rippling out to all Central New York during, and beyond, the holiday season. We are proud to be a part of this innovative production,” said Beth Coughlin, vice president and marketing manager, Cumulus Syracuse.

Cumulus Media will produce and promote the special to reach over a quarter million Central New Yorkers. The special will include guest appearances by Cumulus co-hosts from Ted and Amy in the Morning from WNTQ, Rick Roberts, Afternoon Drive on 93Q, Marty and Shannon from the Morning Mess, Dixon in the afternoon drive on WAQX and Dave Frisina, TheRebelRocks.com. The full show will be made available through the 93Q, 95X, TheScore 1260 and TheRebelRocks.com websites from Nov. 27 to Dec. 25. The tree lighting will also be a part of the 2020 Virtual Ted & Amy’s Christmas Spectacular on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Returning to co-host from the Office of the Mayor will be Maria Maldonado-Lewis.

Confirmed acts/talents include:

  • AJR;
  • Shaed;
  • Latin/Soul Trombone Player Melissa Gardiner;
  • TrumpTight 315;
  • Syracuse City Ballet; and
  • a number of special appearances from local performance groups.

Clinton Square Ice Rink

Viewers will have access to the free virtual event on the:

  • City of Syracuse YouTube Channel
  • City of Syracuse – Office of the Mayor Facebook page;
  • Syracuse Parks & Rec Facebook page;
  • WNTQ 93Q, WAQX 95X, WSKO 1260 AM and TheRebelRocks.com web sites.

The City is working with the Downtown Committee to encourage restaurants and local businesses to host viewings to make the event part of a region-wide celebration.

The Clinton Square Ice Rink is scheduled to be open, weather permitting, the day of virtual tree lighting event, by reservation only. COVID-19 protocols will be in place. Patrons can call 315-423-0129 or visit Syracuse.recdesk.com the week of Thanksgiving to learn more about operating procedures for the 2020-2021 season.