News Pop / Rock 12/11/2004

L.A.'s traditional Lighting of the Christmas Tree at The Grove returns with free magical Holiday show, BeBe Winans, Faithful Choir and more!



SANTA MONICA, CA. (Casey Sayre & Williams/ www.cswpr.com) - The Grove Transforms Into "Winter Wonderland" in Preparation for the Nov. 21 Live Holiday All-Star Concert Featuring Dionne Warwick, Bebe Winans, California Philharmonic, and More Along With Santa Claus, Lighting of 110-Ft. Tree, Fireworks and Season's First Snowfall.

The West Coast's most popular tree-lighting celebration returns to The Grove with a magnificent holiday presentation of live music, lights, snow and Santa Claus on Sunday, November 21, at 8 p.m. As the crowning moment of the free holiday show, The Grove will bring to life the more than 15,000 lights that adorn the towering 110-foot Christmas tree - at least 30 feet taller than Rockefeller Center's. A star-studded musical celebration will precede the third annual tree lighting, concluding with a spectacular fireworks display. While it may be sunny in Southern California, the first "snowfall" of the season in Los Angeles will begin drifting across Town Square immediately after the tree lighting and continue twice each night at The Grove until New Year's Day.
"The tree-lighting celebration is a first-rate holiday show filled with all the favorite things of the season including Christmas carols, Santa Claus and snow," said Rick J. Caruso, CEO, Caruso Affiliated Holdings, owner and developer of The Grove. "Just as Rockefeller Center did for New York, The Grove has created a new holiday tradition for families, friends and visitors on the West Coast."

Television personality Jimmy Kimmel will serve as celebrity host of this year's show. Legendary vocalist Dionne Warwick headlines the holiday spectacular as she introduces her first-ever collection of Christmas songs. Her newly-released album entitled "My Favorite Time of Year" features remarkable performances of traditional and new Christmas songs and includes Warwick's collaborations with top artists such as Gladys Knight on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a duet with gospel star BeBe Winans on "I Believe in Christmas," and Dave Koz adding his smooth jazz sax sound to holiday favorites "White Christmas," "Joy to the World" and "Winter Wonderland."

BeBe Winans and the Faithful Choir also will perform live at The Grove along with the California Philharmonic, sponsored by K-MOZART (105.1 KMZT-FM), in a glorious presentation of classic Christmas carols. Also participating are KOST-103 personalities Mark Wallengren and Kim Amidon of L.A.'s top-rated radio morning program "The Mark and Kim Show." Just added to the concert line-up is actress/singer Kristen Bell, starring as a teen private investigator in the title role of "Veronica Mars" in the new UPN hit series. Nominated for TV Guide's "Favorite Newcomer of 2004," Bell will appear at The Grove with the cast of "Veronica Mars" and also sing live in an exclusive holiday performance.

The Grove Christmas tree can be seen from miles away and towers above Santa's Cottage, a two-story fantasy world set in Town Square, where jolly Saint Nick himself is aided by his trusty elves as he busily prepares for the Christmas rush, stopping only to have his picture taken with visiting children throughout the season. In addition to thousands of sparkling lights, the stunning Californian white fir from Northern California is decorated with more than 10,000 ornaments and topped by a four-foot star.

Gorgeous holiday decorations adorn the center, and store window displays feature real props and artifacts from the upcoming Paramount Pictures/DreamWorks holiday release of "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," a film based on the phenomenal children's book series and starring Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep and Jude Law. Following the tree lighting show, visitors can see the "Lemony Snicket" props any time during The Grove's normal business hours, in addition to enjoying many other free holiday activities such as snow falling at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily, Santa's Cottage open daily, and Christmas carolers performing every weekend until New Year's Day. More information may be obtained by contacting The Grove Concierge at 323-900-8080 or visiting online at www.thegrovela.com.

Caruso Affiliated Holdings owns a portfolio of more than 35 real estate projects throughout the United States including some of the best regarded and highest-grossing retail centers in Southern California, such as The Grove, a 575,000-square-foot open-air urban shopping and entertainment district with an internal pedestrian main street, meandering shopping walkways and plazas. Caruso is well known for its dynamic projects that serve as popular gathering places for their communities such as The Commons at Calabasas, The Promenade at Westlake and Encino Marketplace.






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