Yes, there will still be a Christmas tree in the Clinton Square area of downtown Syracuse this holiday season. But the annual lighting ceremony, which attracts thousands of spectators, is the latest event to be canceled due to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials for the city of Syracuse said there are still plans to put a tree in Clinton Square and trim it with lights, but the event will have to be a virtual celebration.

“For such a popular tradition, we do not believe it is possible to host an event within public gathering requirements and in keeping with Covid-19 safety recommendations," said Department of Parks commissioner Julie LaFave.

The annual ceremony normally packs thousands of people in close proximity to each other. The city is pursuing other options in place of holding an in-person ceremony, including holding a live-streamed event, LaFave told

The event is typically held in November. Here's how a past ceremony looked as it was presented by Newschannel 9 WSYR TV:

The tree lighting ceremony in Syracuse is similar to the event held at New York City's Rockefeller Center. As for the downstate event, New York City Mayor Bill DiBlasio has said it may have to be altered due to COVID-19, but an official announcement has yet to be made.

You can follow the updates on the special page set up at

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