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Syracuse's Tree Lighting Ceremony Returns As An In-Person Event

walsh tree lighting clinton square.jpg
John Smith
Mayor Ben Walsh announced the plans for the Tree Lighting Ceremony in Downtown Syracuse's Clinton Square.

Syracuse’s tree lighting ceremony in Downtown Clinton Square will return to an in person event this year after taking a year off because of the pandemic. DPW crews have been busy assembling the frame and branches to the artificial LED tree on Clinton Square. Mayor Ben Walsh says based on where the pandemic is trending now, the event is possible with precautions.

“We will be outside, which is certainly helpful from a risk standpoint.  That’s why we’re also requesting that people still wear masks and face coverings.  Just an extra bit of precaution because the crowds can get pretty dense.  But, you know, we have a lot of space out here.  We encourage people to try and find some room, find some space to make sure it’s safe.”

Walsh says the “Home for the Holidays” tree lighting has become a special tradition for families. It also means they’ll naturally want to spend more time downtown that evening.

“Getting people back Downtown, it’s good for our spirit, it’s good for the overall community morale but, it is also good for business… because people will go to bars and restaurants before and after the event.  It will help to bring our city center back to life and we need that right now.  We’re excited.”

Walsh says the virtual tree lighting last year had more than 25,000 views online. He adds that City Crews are in “full decorating mode” and lights can already be seen in Hanover Square, open public spaces and parks. The Mayor won’t be hosting the open house gathering a City Hall immediately after the tree lighting. The ceremony is the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 26th at 6 PM. Three local youth will be selected to join the Mayor to assist in lighting up the tree.