The Free LA County Holiday Celebration Dances From Afar

The Christmas Eve event, long associated with the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, will mark its 61st year with a fully virtual event.

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico

What to Know

  • Thursday, Dec. 24 from 3 to 6 p.m.
  • PBS SoCal will have the show on Dec. 24, while an encore presentation will swirl onto KCET on Christmas Day
  • You can also stream it at

When an uplifting tradition spans six decades, and a few generations, and a large megalopolis, a person can rather depend upon it being there, each and every year.

But there was likely a question in many Angelenos' minds when it came to the annual LA County Holiday Celebration, the cultural spectacular that's swirled across the stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for several years.

Would the swirling come to an abrupt halt in 2020? Would the voices, violins, and Christmas bells fall silent due to the pandemic response?

In a word, no. For the Noël-nice extravaganza, an annual gift to the city from the LA County Board of Supervisors, would still go forward, even as the specifics were altered to keep the celebration safe for all.

This means there won't be a live audience in 2020, and the segments are pre-recorded.

But do count on seeing, from home, a whole merry cavalcade of cultural groups in joyful performance, including Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles, the Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, the barbershop quartet Noteable, the Southern California Brass Consortium, and several other favorites.

The afternoon of Dec. 24 is when all of this music and movement will find merry connection from afar.

Can't watch it on PBS SoCal or stream it on There'll be an encore performance on KCET on Dec. 25 at noon PST.

Jerry Moss Plaza, at the Music Center Plaza, will be one site you'll see during the presentations, as well as other picturesque locations around the city, including the Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro.

And consider this: While the celebration has long been an in-person treat, it has also rolled in bygone times, simultaneously, on public television.

Making 2020's screen-based bash not all that unusual or too different from years gone by.

"The holiday season is about spreading joy and goodwill to all, which is so important this year, and we’ll do that with a special broadcast of beautiful and uplifting performances that showcase the talents and diversity of Los Angeles," said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO, The Music Center.

"While many other celebrations and gatherings have been postponed or altered for this season, The Music Center is thrilled to be able to partner with PBS SoCal and CDK Productions to continue to bring Angelenos, family and friends the time-honored tradition of the L.A. County Holiday Celebration."

"Working with the same Emmy Award-winning team led by the program's 25-year producer and director Kenneth Shapiro, we have created a vibrant new format for 2020 that also features artist interviews and county landscapes. This broadcast and streaming event truly is a 'celebration' of Los Angeles — of resiliency and of community — that we all can take pride in from the comforts of our homes."

Watch from home, from a place by the tree, your fireplace, or a favorite and festive spot, and see the seasonal sweetness of Southern California, on dazzling display, as this venerable treat goes fully virtual.

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