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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Where to watch signature holiday events online

Megan Tomasi | Photographer
Several traditional holiday events, from the White House tree lighting ceremony to the Times Square New Year’s Eve events, have moved online due to the pandemic.

You might be eagerly waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square, but this year you’ll need to watch the calendar turn from home.

From “The Nutcracker” ballet to tree lighting ceremonies, a bucketload of long-standing holiday events are shifting online in light of the pandemic. Here’s a rundown of events to look out for online this holiday season and how you can access them.

Times Square New Year’s Eve

The organizers of Times Square New Year’s Eve announced in September that the annual tradition will take place on a complementary app, NYE 2021, which will be released Dec. 19. Using the app, you can see Times Square from your home, extend well wishes to friends around the world and share selfies on NYE on social media. You can also stream the evening on a live broadcast Dec. 31. 

In anticipation of the event, a virtual Times Square has been built by the owner of One Times Square, where the New Year’s Eve Ball drops. The event will celebrate “the best of the human spirit,” showcasing essential workers, first responders, doctors and scientists who have pioneered COVID-19 research over the past year, according to the event website

Rose Parade

A two-hour television special to replace the annual Rose Bowl Parade has been scheduled for New Year’s Day. The tape will include footage from previous year’s parades highlighting impressive floats and marching band performances. The creators of the Rose Bowl parade are also partnering with Feeding America to support people facing hunger during the holiday season. 

Viewers can watch the TV special on ABC, NBC, KTLA, Univision, Hallmark Channel and RFD-TV at 11 a.m. EST on Jan. 1. 

White House festivities

Because of the pandemic, the First Family lit the White House Christmas Tree privately last week, but you can re-watch the lighting ceremony and holiday performances of artists like Colton Dixon and Jillian Edwards online. If you’re in D.C., you can check out the 18.5-foot Fraser Fir tree from West Virginia yourself. 

In addition to the lighting ceremony, you can sign up to attend a limited capacity White House tour. The tour includes tributes to American service members and frontline workers, in addition to information of the nation’s history, wildlife and technology, according to a White House release.

George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker

This year’s production of “The Nutcracker” had been canceled due to the pandemic, but viewers will still be able to view a past production online via Marquee TV

This year’s show was filmed during the group’s 2019 season at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Stars include Maria Kowroski as the Sugarplum Fairy, Tyler Angle as Her Cavalier and Sophia Thomopoulos as Marie. 

This production of “The Nutcracker” features the New York City Ballet Orchestra directed by NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton and children performers from the School of American Ballet.

Anyone interested in watching can purchase a ticket on the Marquee TV website for $25. The performance will be available to view from Friday Dec. 11 to Jan. 3, and ticket holders will have 48 hours to finish watching after first play.

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