The Third Street Promenade came alive this past Saturday with a Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration that included a holiday concert, a visit from Santa Claus and even falling snow.
Debbie Lee, the Bayside District Corporation’s (BDC) Direct­­­or of Marketing told, the Mirror the BDC partnered with the 94.7 Wave jazz radio station in order to put on the event. The goal was to produce a “family friendly free event.” It is also a “way to draw people to the Promenade to mark the start of the holiday shopping season and to create a memorable holiday event.”
Those in attendance got to hear Grammy-nominated Brian McKnight performing some of his favorite Christmas holiday songs and classics with his sons Niko and Brian Jr. Their performance included “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Let It Snow”, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire,” and “Back At One.”
McKnight has had a record 16 nominations for a Grammy award and plays nine instruments. He hosts his own radio show, The Brian McKnight Show on 94.7 Wave radio and has a Saturday night talk show on KCAL. His sons have formed their own group called McKnight and will be releasing their first CD soon.
Lee noted that McKnight was the “perfect fit” for the event because “they wanted a talented performer with the ability to perform live and who had a broad audience.”
Up-and-coming artist Jared Lee opened the concert by performing several songs including his hit “Hooray for Hollywood” which was heard on MTV’s The Hills. Lee told the audience that he writes his own material and it is based upon personal experiences and things his friends and family have gone through. His debut CD will be coming out in 2010.
BDC’s Executive Director, Kathleen Rawson, stated that a Christmas tree lighting ceremony is always a challenge and her organization “wanted to make it right for Santa Monica.” Funding for the event came out of the BDC’s marketing budget but it was necessary to have a partner to help with the expenses. She also mentioned that the BDC advertises on 94.7.
About 4,000 people attended the event and they came from near and far. Culver City resident Carmelle Banks heard about the event on 94.7 and has been a McKnight fan since the early 90’s. She told the Mirror she “owns almost all his CDs.”
Susan Snoyman drove up from Orange County after hearing about the event through the 94.7 newsletter because she loves this type of music.
Mary Blair and daughter Sabrina came from Encino. Both like McKnight’s Christmas music and Mary listens to his radio show, and “likes the way he sings other artists songs on the show.”
Contact Hannah Heineman