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by  NYC Editor, 08/31/2009

 
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NEW YORK CITY ANNOUNCES HIGHLIGHTS OF 2009 HOLIDAY SEASON

—Entertainment and Festivities Abound Throughout the Five Boroughs During Year-End Celebration—

New York City (August 31, 2009) – Every year, New York City transforms itself into a winter wonderland as the spirit of the holidays permeates all five boroughs. Visitors will find the City chock-full of things to see, do and experience during this magical season. NYC & Company, the City’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization, is highlighting some of the key events and attractions for visitors from around the world to enjoy.

“There is no better time to experience New York City than during the holiday season,” said George Fertitta, NYC & Company’s CEO. “The City opens its arms and welcomes visitors with some of the world’s most stunning holiday decorations, events and entertainment.”

The Christmas season officially kicks off when Santa Claus arrives on 34th Street during the 83rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 26 (macysparade.com). This year, the parade takes a new route as it brings its pomp and pageantry to millions of spectators. Beginning at 77th Street, the parade heads south on Central Park West, but instead of going down Broadway, it turns east onto Central Park South. At Seventh Avenue, the parade turns right and heads downtown to 42nd Street, travels east to Sixth Avenue and then downtown again to 34th Street. The parade then turns west, ending at Seventh Avenue. You’ll see floats, marching bands and a fantastic lineup of giant balloons, including Spider-Man—and the one and only Santa Claus.

As the holiday season begins, swarms of shoppers, department store window aficionados and Christmas tree gawkers visit New York City. From the end of November well into January, the City is dressed to impress. Hotels, restaurants, retail stores, arts and cultural attractions and event venues offer something for every visitor.

New this year is The One of a Kind Show and Sale NY, which will take place December 11–13, with a preview night on December 10, at Pier 94 (12th Avenue at 55th Street). Held in New York City for the first time, this holiday shopping show (open to the public) features the best in fine handmade arts and crafts. Hundreds of artists, artisans and designers will be in attendance, giving shoppers the chance to purchase pieces directly from the craftspeople. Show and ticket information can be found at oneofakindshownyc.com.

Now in its 77th year, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is an annual tradition for visitors and residents alike. From November 13 to December 30, watch snow fall and fireworks glow as the Rockettes debut new numbers in this seasonal celebration. Tickets range from $42 to $250. (radiocitychristmas.com)

The WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden will host Wintuk, a Cirque du Soleil production now in its third year in New York. The show, which includes acrobatics, theatrical effects and songs, tells the heartwarming tale of a boy’s quest for snow in a land called Wintuk. The show plays from November 11–January 3. Tickets are from $30 to $220. (cirquedusoleil.com/wintuk)

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is one of the most popular draws for holiday visitors from around the world. Come for the tree-lighting ceremony (on December 2 this year) or any time until early January to see the glorious beauty of its LED lights and Swarovski crystal star. Workers building Rockefeller Center in the early 1930s put up the first tree on the site, and each year’s tree is more magnificent than the last.

Perusing the decorated storefront windows of major department stores is a favorite pastime for visitors descending upon New York City during the holiday season. Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Macy’s all get spruced up with beautiful themed windows that awe visitors year after year. Saks unveils its magical windows in late November.

New York City Ballet, located at Lincoln Center, will present one of the holiday season’s favorite productions, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. The show, which runs from November 27 to January 3, is a magical experience filled with adorable children, marching toy soldiers, a glowing one-ton Christmas tree, mischievous mice, crystalline snowflakes, the Land of Sweets and some of the most glorious dancing the City has to offer. A family tradition for some and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for others, the classic production is one of the City’s true treasures. Tickets range from $20 to $215. (nycballet.com)

South Street Seaport will present its 27th Annual Tree Lighting celebration on November 27. The lighting of the 50-foot singing “Chorus Tree”—featuring carolers from the Big Apple Chorus—will take place along Fulton Street, Front Street and Pier 17. The celebration includes a chance to meet Santa and his parade of merry friends. (southstreetseaport.com)

The Big Apple Circus presents its 32nd anniversary season this year with Bello Nock, "America's Best Clown," and the world's most exciting circus artists in an all-new show under its famous Big Top tent at Lincoln Center. With thrilling feats of derring-do and a stylish sense of whimsy, Bello will delight one and all. Seats under the Big Top are never more than 50 feet from the ring, so even if you're really small you won't miss a thing! Tickets range from $28 to $135. Performances run through January 18, 2010. (bigapplecircus.org)

In the Bronx, visitors can experience the Annual Winter Family Day at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum on Saturday, December 5, from 10am–2pm. The whole family will get into the holiday spirit at Bartow-Pell with a variety of exciting activities for children and much more. Spread holiday cheer with festive songs, and do a bit of holiday shopping as well. Reservations are requested; call 718-885-1461 or email info@bpmm.org. (bpmm.org)

In Staten Island, Candelight Tours will take place on Saturday, December 12, and Saturday, December 19. See 300 years of holiday traditions come alive while experiencing the music, tastes and sounds of Historic Richmond Town at night, which will be lit by candles, oil lamps and the hearth. Tickets cost $22 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under; prepaid reservations are required. Call 718-351-1611, ext. 281, for tour times and reservations. (historicrichmondtown.org)

Brooklyn comes alive for the holidays with the Lights of Dyker Heights. Truly a sight to behold, the spectacle attracts 100,000 visitors during the holiday season. The best displays can be seen on the blocks between 83rd and 86th Streets from 11th to 13th Avenue in this small neighborhood between Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst. (dykerheights.com)

In Queens, the Queens Historical Society presents the Annual Historic Holiday House Tour on Sunday, December 13, from 1 to 5pm. This eagerly anticipated guided trolley tour includes stops at five festively decorated museums and historic sites, including the Queens Historical Society at the Kingsland Homestead, the Quaker Meeting House, Flushing Town Hall, the Voelker-Orth Museum and Lewis H. Latimer House. A local historian will narrate the tour. There will be various holiday refreshments and activities for the whole family at each site. Visitors will have access to all exhibits at the sites. Tickets can be reserved at any of the sites, or may be purchased at the door. Admission is $10 for adults, and $5 for children under 12. (queenshistoricalsociety.org)

About NYC & Company:
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.

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For press inquiries please contact Kimberly Spell/ Chris Heywood at 212.484.1270