Mayor's Office Press Release
Former Destiny's Child Michelle Williams to Headline Mayor's Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Presented By Reliant
Festivities Set for Friday, December 2nd
November 30, 2016 -- Kick-off the holiday season with Mayor Sylvester Turner at the 97th Annual Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Presented by Reliant, an NRG company. The festivities will commence Friday, December 2 at City Hall in Hermann Square from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. This impressive, FREE event is a holiday tradition of music, fireworks and family fun. A massive 65’ holiday tree shimmering with energy-efficient LED lights, glistening ornaments and a magnificent star topper will light up the streets of downtown Houston this holiday season.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the holiday season, than with the community coming together and enjoying an evening of music, dancing and special appearances” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “As my first official Holiday Celebration as Mayor of Houston, I am privileged to be a part of such a long-standing tradition, and want to thank Reliant and all of our sponsors who have continued to make this event truly memorable.”
Featured artist, Michelle Williams is an American R&B, pop and gospel recording artist who rose to fame as a member of Destiny's Child. As a solo artist, Williams reached acclaim with her debut album Heart to Yours (2002) which topped the U.S. gospel album charts and became the best-selling gospel release of the year. The album garnered three Grammy nominations, including Best Gospel Album. She went on to release Do You Know (2004) nominated for Best Gospel Act at the 2004 Music of Black Origin Awards (MOBO); Unexpected (2008), featuring the internationally charting single "We Break the Dawn" and "The Greatest," a Billboard number one Hot Dance Club Single; and Journey to Freedom (2014), her highest-charting album in the U.S. Her single, "If We Had Your Eyes" reached the U.S. Adult R&B top 20 and the Soul Train-nominated "Say Yes" charted internationally topping the U.S. Hot Gospel Songs chart for seven weeks.
The holiday variety show will also include a performance by returning Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting singer RaeLynn, “The Voice” season 2 alumnus and Baytown native. She is certified GOLD on the country music charts and will be touring with Blake Shelton in 2017. SVET, an Electro Hip Hop Violinist as seen on America's Got Talent will also perform. He is one of the most profound and unique acts of today and is globally recognized for his incredible talent to recreate music and songs of today with the violin. Viewers will enjoy additional performances by Houston’s own SoReal Cru, a hip-hop dance group from the second season of America’s Best Dance Crew. Also featured will be the Shlenker Star Singers from Congregation Beth Israel’s The Shlenker School and appearances by costumed characters from the Houston Ballet.
Mayor Sylvester Turner, Reliant and NRG Retail President Elizabeth Killinger, along with Santa Claus, will light the official holiday tree and ignite a spectacular fireworks finale perfectly timed to the Hallelujah Chorus from “Handel’s Messiah,” featuring Music Director Ernest Walker, his award-winning band and a 60 voice combined choir from local Houston High Schools.
“Holidays, Houstonians and a hometown celebration are a few of our favorite things at Reliant,” said Killinger. “For more than a decade, we’ve been privileged to partner with the City to host this seasonal celebration of hope and love, and do it in fine holiday fashion with amazing sights, live music, dancing, fireworks and, a crowd favorite, our famous lighted Santa hats. I’m excited to welcome Houstonians from across the area to join us for family fun and watch us flip the switch on thousands of LED lights that illuminate the holiday tree. We are honored to have Reliant light your holidays!”
The public also is invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Salvation Army booth at the Mayor’s Holiday Celebration to help make the holidays brighter for a child this season. Each person who brings a toy will receive a light-up Santa hat from Reliant. The annual toy drive benefits the Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command.
Sponsors include: Reliant (an NRG company), Cigna, Wells Fargo, Magical Winter Lights, Maggiano’s, KHOU-11, the Downtown Management District and the Houston Public Library Foundation. The celebration is produced by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events.