It’s official: Winter’s Eve is officially Upper West Side history.
The 20th (and last) Winter’s Eve celebration took place in 2019, and like in years prior, the streets between Columbus Circle and West 70th Street were lined with live music, entertainment, crafts and food tastings.
Due to COVID-19, the annual celebration was put on pause for the first time in 2020, at which point this stretch of Lincoln Square was instead illuminated by a light installation called Tumbling Brights.
In 2021, the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District announced that Winter’s Eve would be cancelled again. Tumbling Brights returned to accompany a month-long series of small pop-ups.
And just recently, the Lincoln Square BID shared a Facebook post indicating that Winter’s Eve will not be coming back. “After 20 wonderful years, over two years ago, the Lincoln Square BID decided to say farewell to Winter’s Eve – our one-day holiday event.”
But until recently, it seemed like the original holiday event might one day return. Now we know it won’t.
This year, Lincoln Square BID has announced a series of free outdoor performances to complement a slew of holiday festivities and immersive experiences they’re calling Lights Up on Lincoln Square.
“This season, we will transform Lincoln Square, the cultural heart of NYC, into a winter wonderland. As you visit Lincoln Square to shop, dine, work and play, stop by and enjoy the sights and sounds of our neighborhood,” states Lincoln Square BID’s website.
Kicking things off is Lincoln Square’s holiday tree lighting at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 5. The event will feature CHIA’s Dance Party with Martin Vejarano and his Brass Quintet performing a mix of original material and tropical standards, which blend compositional and improvisation musical elements that are likely to get you into the holiday spirit dancing groove. The Department of Spectacle will also be showcasing a visual spectacular of juggling and balancing as Tanya Turgeon and her band of merry performers preside over the merriment.
A new installation for 2022 is the World of Marzell’s Big Apple, Musical Tree & Music Box. From December into January, visitors can visit the northern tip of Dante Park at West 64 Street and Broadway and crank The Music Box handle to sing along to classic festive songs, karaoke style.
Make your way to the southern area of Dante Park and a “musical tree” in the essence of a xylophone will be out for you to play whatever your heart desires.
Free outdoor music is slated for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout December. Performance times begin at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and noon on Wednesdays. Frank London and the Klezmer Brass, Yip’s Dragon Style Chinese Lion Dance, VocalSoul and Mariachi Nuevo Mexico are just some of the acts you’ll be able to enjoy. The Fabulous Fezziwigs also sound like a can’t-miss.
To welcome in the winter solstice on Wednesday, December 21, is an illuminated procession led by the Frost Giants of Processional Arts Workshop. Large glowing icicle lanterns will be set up at a location to be determined.
And Tumbling Brights will return this year as well, lighting up the Broadway Mall From December into January 15.
For a full list of happenings, please visit lincolnsquarebid.org/lightsup.