Press Releases

Wortham tree lighting tradition turns 30

Houston • Nov. 21, 2018

Article submitted by Carolyn Campbell

Yes, the Wortham Theater Center has been open to the public for a couple of months, but now that it's dressed for the holidays, the venue really feels like home!  On Nov. 21, the Wortham hosted its 30th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. 

Sponsored by Houston First, the event is done in partnership with the Houston Ballet and the Houston Grand Opera. The public, who was invited to join in for free, poured into the building for the chance to see the tree and meet Santa Claus.

The HFC Theater District team, led by Vivian Montejano, helped coordinate the event just weeks after completing the monumental task of reopening the building. The Wortham was closed for a year to repair the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The Houston Ballet's Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker, escorted Santa in and waved her magic wand bringing the 26-foot Christmas tree to life with more than 8,000 dazzling lights. Costumed characters from the Opera and Ballet delighted the crowd and the Lighthouse Choir put everyone in the holiday spirit with their beautiful tunes. Ernie Manouse, talk show host at KUHT-TV served as emcee, a job he says he looks forward to every year. Houston First Board Chair David Mincberg welcomed everyone to the tree lighting on behalf of Houston First.  But the real star of the show was Santa himself.  A line of children eager with anticipation formed to get a picture and a moment with jolly old St. Nick.

If you weren't able to make it this year, mark your calendars and plan to bring your family to experience this Houston holiday tradition.