Celebrate the holiday season with Mayor David Holt at the Oklahoma City Tree Lighting Festival presented by SONIC Foundation. To comply with COVID-19 safety precautions, the event will be hosted virtually. Stream the program live at DowntowninDecember.com this Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. or on the News 9 app. 

The event serves as the official kickoff to Downtown in December presented by Devon and the holiday season as Mayor David Holt leads the city in the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be a public tree lighting presentation, and people are discouraged to gather around the tree in Bricktown as in years past. Instead, all are invited to watch the festival with a virtual community across the city. This pre-recorded program is packed with holiday entertainment the entire family can enjoy from the comfort of their homes with a mug of hot cocoa in hand. 

The festival will feature many beloved, familiar sights as well as some new favorites filmed in the recently restored Yale Theater and other locations downtown. Local American folk-rock band The Imaginaries will open the show, followed by a show-stopping South Asian performance by the Sainrithya Dance Academy. 

Local artist and community leader Jabee will make a special appearance to read "A Visit From St. Nicholas" a poem by Clement Clarke Moore that begins, "'Twas the night before Christmas ..." Lyric Theatre will return this year and will share a preview of their adapted outdoor performance of "A Christmas Carol" from the Harn Homestead.  

After the lighting of the OKC Christmas Tree, former American Idol finalist and one of Oklahoma City's favorite soul and R&B artists, Tony Foster Jr., will return with Kandace Duke to close out the evening with a holiday performance to be remembered. 

Tune in to see: 

  • Program emcee, Mayor Holt 
  • ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas reading by Jabee 
  • The Imaginaries performing original Christmas songs 
  • The OKC Ballet trainees performing “Angels” from The Nutcracker 
  • Yumare Mexican Folkloric Dancers 
  • Lao Natasinh Dancers 
  • Bharatanatyam Dance by Sainrithya Dance Academy 
  • Lion Dance by Giac Quang Buddhist Temple Youth Group 
  • Tuan Doan performing the Vietnamese Flute 
  • Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy Student Ella Epperson singing Okie favorite, I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas 
  • A carol medley by Lyric Theatre’s cast of ‘A Christmas Carol’ 
  • Classic Christmas songs by Tony Foster Jr. and Kandace Duke 
  • A message from Santa Claus 
  • The traditional countdown to the lighting of the tree 

The Oklahoma City Tree Lighting Festival is made possible by generous support from the SONIC Foundation. "The SONIC Foundation is proud to partner with Downtown Oklahoma City to host the virtual Oklahoma City Tree Lighting Festival. We are delighted to sponsor the Tree Lighting Festival for the fifth year and to continue our support of Downtown in December for a 17th year,” said Christi Woodworth, Vice President of Public Relations for SONIC. “We invite the entire community to watch from the comfort of their home this year as we officially open the holiday season.” 

Watch the Oklahoma City Tree Lighting Festival live Friday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. at DowntowninDecember.com, on the Downtown OKC Facebook page, on the News 9 app available for Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Firestick, or at News9.com. The tree will be on the display in Bricktown at the canal overlook (111 S Mickey Mantle Dr.) throughout the holiday season. Visit DowntowninDecember.com for more information.  

This event was produced by Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership and sponsored by SONIC Foundation, Spark Creative, The Yale Theater, News 9, and Gipson Design. For more information and a full list of events happening during Downtown in December presented by Devon, visit DowntowninDecember.com