'Winter's Eve' 2013 celebration held in Lincoln Square

Sade Baderinwa has more from the tree lighting at Lincoln Square.
December 2, 2013 7:39:59 PM PST
The holiday season kicked off with a night of food and fun on the Upper West Side!

The Lincoln Square Business Improvement District hosted its 14th annual Winter's Eve at Lincoln Square, New York's largest outdoor holiday festival Monday evening to kick-off the holiday season! This year's event attracted thousands of people to the Lincoln Square area to light up the entire Upper West Side. There were over 20 live performance areas, more than 30 restaurants offering tastings and many great performers including Tony Award Winning, renowned Broadway stars, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Bebe Neuwirth who headlined the festival.

Other performances included: rising jazz star Brianna Thomas Quartet, world renowned DJ David Chang, Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Indie Flamenco and Folk Rock band City of the Sun, GRAMMY nominated Brooklyn-based children's band The Pop Ups, the talented LaGuardia High School Show Choir, ice sculpting, Alice Farley Dance Theater, Bond Street Theatre's Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, Asphalt Orchestra, and Jazz at Lincoln Center just to name a few.

The ParksDepartment ran a free trolley up and down Broadway during the event.

For more details visit: www.winterseve.org

"Winter's Eve has become an annual tradition that epitomizes and showcases this thriving Upper West Side neighborhood as a vibrant cultural, culinary and shopping destination with Lincoln Square at its center," said Lincoln Square BID President, Monica Blum. "The 14th Annual Winter's Eve promises to light up the Upper West Side with holiday cheer, joy and excitement for our neighbors and visitors, families and grandparents, students and professionals, arts lovers, foodies and shoppers. This year, we are honored to support and collaborate with The Actors Fund, donating a portion of proceeds from culinary tastings towards their nationwide efforts and programs that help all professionals in performing arts and entertainment."

The festivities kicked-off with a special performance by Brian Stokes Mitchell and Bebe Neuwirth and others in Dante Park (Broadway and 63rd Street) with a traditional lighting of the Upper West Side neighborhood's holiday tree. Immediately following -- Broadway, from Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle to 68th Street -- will transform into a winter wonderland featuring free musical entertainment, outdoor food tastings along the sidewalks from area restaurants and fun activities for people of all ages. Outdoor food tastings will be held in special tents on Broadway while marching bands and other New York City based musicians will delight holiday revelers.

ENTERTAINMENT - Major entertainment venues included: the Winter's Eve Main Stage at Dante Park with headliners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Bebe Neuwirth, and others; the Winter's Eve TD Bank Dance Party at Broadway and 61st Street showcasing DJ David Chang, Arthur Murray Dancers and entertainer Bryant 'Drew' Andrews who will lead a variety of dances for the crowd; Time Warner Center featuring Jazz at Lincoln Center, the talented LaGuardia High School Show Choir, and a circus show for the tween set and their family; Richard Tucker Park with City of the Sun; the Empire Hotel Lobby Bar with the Brianna Thomas Quartet; Century 21 Department Store; the Upper West Side Apple Store; TD Bank; David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center ; and many more. Dozens of other local stores and neighborhood institutions will host activities and holiday cheer throughout the evening.

FOR FOODIES ? A scrumptious sampling of signature dishes (for nominal cost) from over 30 of Lincoln Square's finest and most popular restaurants joined in an outdoor neighborhood food tasting festival. The Winter's Eve walk-around tasting featured fare from the likes of Atlantic Grill, Boulud Sud, Rosa Mexicano, The Smith, Asiate, Bar Masa, Landmarc, Bouchon Bakery, Café Fiorello, Gabriel's Bar & Restaurant, Magnolia Bakery, PJ Clarke's, Sapphire Indian Cuisine, Porter House New York, and many other delectable Upper West Side eateries.

SPONSORS -- Winter's Eve official sponsors include presenting sponsor Time Warner as well as The Shops at Columbus Circle and Related Companies, the American Bible Society, Con Edison, Glenwood Management, Ogden CAP Properties LLC, Fordham University, Roosevelt Hospital, Century 21 Department Stores, Trump International Hotel & Tower, Mandarin Oriental New York, Titan, New York Institute of Technology, Atlantic Grill, Rosa Mexicano at Lincoln Center, The Smith, The Dinex Group; The Empire Hotel, media sponsors include WABC-TV, WNET, WBGO, and IN New York and Where magazines.

Admission to Winter's Eve was free, but event attendees were encouraged to bring and donate gently used or new coats of all sizes to Dante Park at 63rd Street and Broadway as part of the 25th Annual New York Cares Coat Drive.