empire-state-building

Catch Empire State building's first-ever Christmas light show

Dec. 20, 2013 at 9:57 AM ET

Empire State Building lit up like a candy cane.
Courtesy Empire State Building
The Empire State Building gives a "gift to New York" this holiday season with its first-ever Christmas light show series.

This holiday season, from the bridges to the rooftops to the burbs, New Yorkers and visitors will be able to watch as the sides of the Empire State Building are transformed into a five-night animated LED light show. The building's first-ever Christmas show series will be a real-time group experience shared by the entire city. The lights will change color, dance, flicker and more, all set to a holiday soundtrack, which anyone watching can tune in to 106.7 Lite FM to hear.

"Synchronizing the Empire State Building's incredible LED lights with Lite fm's Christmas music is our early holiday gift for all New Yorkers," said Tom Poleman, president of national programming platforms for Clear Channel, which owns the radio station.

Starting Friday, the shows will play nightly at 7 p.m. EST through Monday, Dec. 23, with a grand finale show at the same time on Christmas Eve.

The show makes use of the building's Philips Color Kinetics LED lighting system installed in 2012. The one it replaced used incandescent lights.

To see the show the best, head to the Brooklyn Bridge, Bryant Park, The Highline, Hoboken/Jersey City Waterfront, Hudson River Esplanade, Long Island City, Madison Square Park, Tribeca Park, Union Square, Jackson Square, and the Williamsburg Waterfront.

Fans can also check out videos of each of the shows later on the Empire State Building's YouTube page. Social media votes will determine the content of the Christmas Eve show.

The building has previously done light and radio synchronized shows for Halloween and Fourth of July. For a peek at what kind of luminous wizardry is in store, check out this aerial footage of the show going on the Empire State Building as the Macy's fireworks display launches from barges on the river in the background:

Contact Ben Popken via ben.popken@nbcuni.com, @bpopken, or benpopkenwrites.com.

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