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Governor Hochul Announces Start of Winter at the Plaza Events Season

November 24, 2021

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the official opening of the Winter at the Plaza events season.

Beginning Friday, December 3, the Empire "Skate" Plaza ice rink will open at noon, weather permitting. The annual holiday tree lighting ceremony presented by Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York will be held from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 5.

"Winter at the Plaza is a great way to celebrate the holiday season," Governor Hochul said. "With 'Hannaford's Free Skate Rental Saturdays' and energy efficient lighting, these events are accessible to everyone and planet friendly - so get out into the community and have some winter fun."

This year's tree lighting will also feature the unveiling of a new energy-efficient lighting system that will illuminate the Empire State Plaza in seasonal colors.

Acting OGS Commissioner Jeanette Moy said, "As the new OGS Acting Commissioner, it's an honor to continue the annual tradition of transforming the Empire 'Skate' Plaza into an exciting winter destination with activities that give visitors fun ways to stay active during the frosty weather. I encourage everyone to celebrate the holiday season by coming to the Plaza tree lighting and fireworks ceremony on December 5. I want to thank our generous sponsors for making Winter at the Plaza possible. I also want to congratulate my team at OGS and our partners at NYPA for all their hard work on updating the Plaza with energy-efficient and colorful lights."

OGS, in partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), is in the process of replacing existing lighting at multiple OGS facilities across New York State with LED lights. The LED improvement project at the Empire State Plaza includes replacing 95,000 interior fixtures. It also involves replacing more than 360 exterior lights with new color-changing LED technology that will transform the Plaza's unique architecture into an eye-catching display while meeting the State's energy goals. OGS partnered with NYPA in 2019 to start the LED lighting project, with NYPA responsible for providing project financing, design, and construction management.

New York State's "I Love NY" logo will appear in the center of the rink as it has in previous years.

The Plaza rink will once again play a major role in a series of free events and activities planned for the season, which will kick off with the opening day at the Plaza ice rink on Friday, December 3 with music provided from 6 to 8 p.m. by DJ T.G.I.F. The New York State Holiday Tree Lighting, presented by Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York, will take place on Sunday, December 5. The first Learn to Skate clinic of the season, also presented by Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York, will be on Saturday, December 11.

The Empire State Plaza ice rink will feature free skate rentals each Saturday of the 2021-22 season, courtesy of Hannaford Supermarkets. The first Hannaford Free Skate Rental Saturday will be held on December 4.

To read more, you can visit Governor Hochul Announces Start of Winter at the Plaza Events Season.

New York Pressroom

November 24, 2021

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