Music Center Merry: LA County Tree Lighting

It's a stunner of a space made more sparkly by a festive fir and lights.

Where's LA County's town square?

El Pueblo de Los Angeles absolutely stands as a history-important meeting place. The Original Farmers Market has been an easy-breezy hangout for the better part of a century. And Griffith Park? Many would call that the ultimate community gathering spot.

They're all our beloved town squares, of course, but let's add the Music Center Plaza to the come-together mix, for its many free events, its cinematic setting, its prominent downtown location, and its robust cultural offerings.

It seems a fitting place, then, for the official LA County Christmas tree stand each and every year. It's a tree that'll glimmer throughout December, starting on Monday, Nov. 30, and that City Hall serves as a photo-fantastic backdrop to the elegant fir only ups the plaza's general town-square-a-tude.

The ceremony is free to join. Not only free, but the Music Center's page trumpets "(h)ot chocolate for everyone!"

Oh, that definitely feels town-square-y for sure. How can you not cup your hands around a warm beverage while gazing upon City Hall and not feel a bit of municipally inspired merriment? Which is what one should experience, from time to time, while standing in a town square?

Brass Pacifica, a chamber music outfit, and the Valencia High School Chamber Choir will lend the 5 p.m. party some lovely notes and voices, the better to stir that city-town square-celebration-togetherness bond.

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If you can't make the flipping of the switch, but you will be downtown in the coming weeks, stop by and admire the tree around sunset, when the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper, the Ahmanson, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the DWP Building, City Hall, and Grand Park all work, in quiet concert, to provide a quintessential, twinkle-by-night cityscape, a view further enhanced by the loaded-with-lights tree. (Walt Disney Concert Hall and Broad Museum, we know you're just behind the Pavilion, offering your own just-out-of-sight splendor to the scene.)

Aren't we lucky to live with such a cityscape, and in a county that boasts several well-loved-upon, oh-so-organic, come-and-hang-out town squares. The Music Center Plaza is simply one of the many, and that's a great thing, for sure, to live in a place boasting too many town squares (because "too many," when it comes to community treasures, is never enough.)

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