Holiday Happenings Dallas 2018
Holiday News

Dallas takes on Rockefeller Center with new Christmas tree show

Dallas takes on Rockefeller Center with new Christmas tree show

Christmas tree at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas
Christmas tree at Klyde Warren Park. Getty Images

Rockefeller Center, look out: The city of Dallas is hosting its own festive and celebrity-packed tree-lighting celebration in the plaza in front of City Hall.

VisitDallas and the City of Dallas have collaborated on Deck the Plaza, a free holiday celebration taking place on November 30 which will feature the official illumination of City Hall Plaza, including the lighting of a 40-foot tree.

This is the first time the city will host such a celebration, but it's part of a bigger plan to add energy to and make use of the plaza in front of Dallas City Hall.

"We have been wanting to activate City Hall Plaza and make it our city's official gathering place for special events and moments of celebration," says Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax in a release. "I want to thank VisitDallas and our sponsors for helping make this wonderful holiday event a reality. We look forward to making this an annual event for Dallas and activating City Hall Plaza with official events throughout the year."

For comparison's sake, Rockefeller Center's tree is 72 feet tall, nearly twice as high — but let's not get into a whose-tree-is-bigger contest, shall we? As they say, it's not the size of the tree, it's how wide is the trunk. Rest assured, our trunk will be very very wide.

Besides, Dallas will have celebrities. In attendance will be bold-faced names such as Linda Gray, aka Sue Ellen of Dallas fame, and Nia Franklin, Miss America 2019.

"Dallas is a welcoming community, and during the holiday season, we want to be a place where residents and visitors can come together and celebrate," says Mayor Mike Rawlings in a release. "I am excited that we’re illuminating City Hall Plaza; it is a great way for everyone to experience the joy of the season."

The family-friendly event will also include interfaith speakers and a special arrival from Santa Claus. Is he a bold-faced name, too?

Musical entertainment will be provided by Dallas Winds and the Castro band, headlined by locals Jason and Michael Castro of American Idol fame. Attendees can enjoy holiday treats including hot chocolate, apple cider, and cookies.

The schedule runs from 4:30-8 pm, as follows:

  • 4:30 pm – Guest arrival
  • 5:30 pm – Program begins
  • 5:55 pm – Santa arrives
  • 6 pm – Lighting of the plaza
  • 7:15 pm – Photos with Santa
  • 8 pm – Event ends

Deck the Plaza will be the anchor event of VisitDallas' BIG D Holiday promotion, an annual partnership with arts institutions and area attractions to showcase a full array of seasonal events for locals and visitors to enjoy.

Deck the Plaza will kick off an entire weekend of events that includes the annual Dallas Holiday Parade on Saturday morning, December 1.

Saturday afternoon, there'll be another tree lighting, this time in Klyde Warren Park. That will be followed by "Reliant Lights Your Holidays" at the neighboring AT&T Performing Arts Center. So many things being lit.

Event sponsors include Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, Dallas Airport System, Freeman, Downtown Dallas Inc., Omni Dallas Hotel and Centerplate.