Downtown Seattle gears for Christmas with annual tree lighting celebration

Friday, November 17, 2023


Downtown Seattle gears festive holiday season with annual tree lighting celebration

The holiday season in downtown Seattle is set to shine bigger and brighter than ever as the Downtown Seattle Association brings back tried and true holiday traditions and introduces some new seasonal attractions.

The excitement begins Friday, Nov. 24, in Westlake Park with the spectacular downtown Tree Lighting Celebration at 5 p.m. and the illumination of the iconic Macy’s Star, followed by a  fireworks display that will light up the downtown sky. The pre-show event starts at 3:30 p.m., and the fun continues after the tree lighting with performances by local musical acts.

Through Jan. 9, Westlake Park will be home to giant holiday-themed light sculptures presented by Amazon. The dramatic pieces are created from more than 55,000 LED lights — perfect for a holiday selfie. The park will also host live concerts on select Friday afternoons. Across town at Occidental Square, our free pop-up ice skating rink is back for a second year, bigger and better. Throughout the season, Occidental will also feature free treats and a rotating cast of classic holiday characters, along with snow flurries and live music.

“We’re thrilled to bring these incredible holiday activities to downtown Seattle,” said Jennifer Casillas, DSA Vice President of Public Realm & Ambassador Operations. “Downtown is where people of all ages and walks of life come together to celebrate this special season. Last year we saw thousands of people visit throughout the holidays, and we’re hoping for even more this year. Thanks to funding from downtown property owners and sponsors, we are able to offer all of these activities to our community for free.”

The DSA’s holiday events and attractions include:

The Downtown Tree Lighting Celebration – Nov. 24, 5-6:30 p.m.

This community event is an annual sign that the holidays have begun in downtown Seattle. Festivities begin with a pre-show starting at 3:30 p.m., emceed by WARM 106.9’s Shellie Hart. Starting at 5 p.m., emcees Ursula Reutin and Micki Gamez of KIRO Newsradio will lead the crowd in counting down to the lighting of the tree, which will be immediately followed by the illumination of the historic Macy’s Star and a spectacular fireworks show. Then, we’ll keep the holiday celebration going with live, free performances by the African American Cultural Ensemble and The Jewel Tones.

Holiday Lights & Delights

Westlake Park will feature larger-than-life installations of Rudolph, candy canes, snowflakes and more. The sculptures are built from more than 55,000 lights and make for the perfect sparkling selfie. Light displays are free and family-friendly and will be on display until Jan. 9, 2024.

Local artists will perform on select Fridays in December. All concerts are free and open to the public.

Occidental  Square will be hit with snow flurries on select Saturdays this season.  While the flakes drift down, guests can delight in live music, take pictures with costumed characters and enjoy free treats from The Pastry Project. This activation runs from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Free ice skating returns to Occidental Square this season on an 80-foot rink. For three days, our pop-up outdoor rink will welcome skaters of all ages and skill levels to take a merry turn. Skates are available to use for free.

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