Holiday Trees will be lit at Providence City Hall and BankNewport City Center before all-star skating show
November 29, 2021
PROVIDENCE, RI –The City of Providence cordially invites families, friends, and misfit toys to City Hall on Friday, December 3, beginning at 5:00 PM for its annual holiday tree lighting ceremony, presented by Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and the City’s Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, and hosted by WPRI’s Brendan Kirby. Once again, the ceremony will take place downtown, a return to form after last year’s virtual celebration. Following the lighting of the trees, two-time US Olympic figure-skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan will headline an all-star ice-skating show at BankNewport City Center.
“Nothing brings me more joy than our City’s holiday traditions, celebrated together with neighbors and loved ones,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “After a tough couple of years, our Art, Culture + Tourism department has been working hard to make sure this year’s celebrations have something for everyone, and I know this will be an unforgettable holiday celebration.”
The weather outside is frightful, but this year’s tree lighting ceremony is going to be so delightful. The two holiday trees that will be on display this year, one at Providence City Hall and one at BankNewport City Center, were generously donated in the memory of Doreen LeBeau from the LeBeau family of Seekonk and from the Delfino family of Johnston, respectively. The event itself will kick off at Trinity Repertory Company, as community carolers sing their way down Washington Street towards Providence City Hall. At City Hall, WPRI’s Brendan Kirby will bring the holiday spirit as host before both trees become illuminated with holiday lights and decorations. Then, community singers will continue their caroling journey from City Hall to the Rink, where the Brown University Marching Band will take the ice, opening the star-studded ice-skating show featuring Nancy Kerrigan.
The evening of championship figure skating will include an all-star lineup hosted by two-time US Olympic Medalist Nancy Kerrigan. The show will star 2014 US Olympic Team Bronze Medalists Gracie Gold, Rhode Island’s very own Marissa Castelli and National Champion Max Aaron. Also performing will be international and national competitors Sean Rabbitt, Heidi Munger, Jun Hong Chen, Effie Chen & Jack Liu, Patrick Blackwell, and the 2019 Nations’ Cup Silver Medalists Ocean State Ice Theatre, as well as local stars from BV Skating and Mount Saint Charles Academy. This 50-minute extravaganza, produced by Sarah DiNardo and Brad Vigorito, will be live streamed by viral sensation On Ice Perspectives.
But the celebration doesn’t stop there. On Saturday, December 4, Waterfire Providence will be hosting “A Holiday Celebration at WaterFire” benefiting Children’s Friend and Rhode Island’s Salvation Army & Marines Toys for Tots with a basin lighting at sunset. And on Sunday, December 5, the City’s Hanukkah Spectaculah will take place at Biltmore Park from 3:00-6:00 PM with festive food, music, drinks, candle-lighting and art with neighbors and friends. Both events are free and open to the public.
This week also kicks off the start of skating season. Beginning Wednesday, December 1, the Providence Rink at BankNewport City Center will be open for ice skating daily between the hours of 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM, weather permitting. General admission for ice skating is $7 for adults and $4 for seniors, children under 12, and active military and veterans. Ice skate rentals are $7 (tax included) per person. Special rates are available for birthdays, school groups, business and social groups, and for full ice rentals. Visit theprovidencerink.com for details and to make reservations for skating and ice bumper cars.
While downtown, residents and visitors may notice the city streets aglow with festive lights. That’s because, once again, the Providence Tourism Council has partnered with the City of Providence to launch the Illuminate PVD campaign, brightening the streets of Providence by activating and illuminating the City’s public spaces and buildings. Activations this year include the installation of digital snowflakes on light poles, holiday décor, and colorful lighting installations at Providence City Hall and Biltmore Park.
All of this weekend’s events are free, family-friendly, and open to the public. So, don’t be a Grinch, take a break from listening to Mariah Carey’s holiday album on loop, and join the City for a season of celebration and togetherness.