TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - To kick-off the holiday season, MLSE will trade in its jerseys and skates for LED lights and red noses next Saturday night. Prior to the Toronto Raptors taking on the Utah Jazz, MLSE will host a free event in the Ford Fan Zone at Maple Leaf Square which will feature ticket giveaways, musical performances, family-fun activities, food, drink and the lighting of a 38-foot holiday tree. The first tree lighting ceremony held by MLSE will be hosted by Toronto Maple Leafs in-arena host Lauren Howe.
Beginning at 4 p.m. families are encouraged to come to Air Canada Centre to enjoy holiday fun with various activations presented by MLSE partners, Canadian Tire and Tim Hortons. Throughout the entire event, tickets to that evening's Toronto Raptors game and future Toronto Maple Leafs games will be prized out to those in attendance.
Another highlight of the first annual tree lighting is free musical performances by established and up and coming Canadian acts. Captivating audiences with their distinct blend of classical music and contemporary pop, The Tenors are set to take the stage and perform a range of holiday favourites. Accustomed to selling out venues around the world, they are honoured to be a part of this special event. Also joining in the holiday festivities is Toronto-native soul singer, Sean Jones. Having first found success in R&B band In Essence, Jones is now on the rise as a solo artist with his second album Sean Jones set to be released in early 2015. Adding to the eclectic group of performers is country singer and songwriter Leah Daniels, the Regent Park School of Music and Choir! Choir! Choir!
To complete the evening, event-goers will witness the first annual tree lighting just prior to tip-off. The tree will remain in Ford Fan Zone for the duration of the holiday season and is also outfitted with thousands of LED lights which can be programmed to represent both Air Canada Centre home teams, the Leafs and the Raptors.
The inaugural tree lighting event will mark the beginning of MLSE's enhanced commitment to the holiday season. This year MLSE entered into a community partnership with the Toronto Santa Claus Parade and will host the first annual Holly Jolly Fun Run presented by Sport Chek.
"MLSE is pleased to help celebrate the holiday season this year, through our involvement in the tree lighting ceremony on November 15 and the Holly Jolly Fun Run presented by Sport Chek on November 16," said Michael Bartlett, Executive Director, MLSE Foundation. "We are so honoured to have partnered with the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, a lasting tradition for our city, and we are happy to play a role in delivering these events as part of the parade festivities."
Starting at noon next Sunday, MLSE personalities will be on hand cheering on the nearly 2,000 participants with Toronto Maple Leafs legend Wendel Clark taking the role of the official Run starter. All proceeds of the Run are in support of the Parade and ensuring that the tradition of the best Santa Claus Parade lives on for many more years to come. In fact, with MLSE's support this year's Parade is the biggest one yet with more sponsors than ever before.
SOURCE: Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
For further information: Media Contact: Abby Albino, MLSE, (416) 815-5455