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Downtown Boston BID: Holiday Programming Announcement


Downtown Crossing comes alive this winter, when the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (Boston BID) launches “Downtown Holiday Magic” – an outdoor winter celebration running Nov. 24 through Jan 31, 2021, anchored by “Stage Windows,” a series of prominent storefront windows specially designed by some of Boston’s top arts organizations. The project enhances the festive holiday decorations through the District, including two new Winter Solstice- themed art installations.

 “Downtown Boston is celebrating the holidays safely and creatively this season,” says Downtown Boston BID President and CEO Rosemarie Sansone. “While keeping the neighborhood vibrant and festive, this year we’re honoring and supporting performing arts organizations that have been impacted by coronavirus shutdowns, including several who are based in our District or would have performed here under normal circumstances.”

 Along Washington Street, and at 101 Arch Street, the “Stage Windows” installation includes spectacular window displays created and built by four renowned Boston performing arts organizations. Sansone says these engaging, three-dimensional experiences with winter themes will encourage viewers to remember the performing arts traditions that have been cancelled due to coronavirus shutdowns of local theaters and arts spaces. The “Stage Windows” project includes:

  • Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, which will install a projection-based design for an audio performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” 467 Washington Street

  • Boston Ballet will create a one-of-a-kind infinite jewel box design highlighting the sets and gorgeous handmade costumes that make its version of “The Nutcracker” one of the country’s biggest and most popular. 101 Arch Street; viewable at the corner of Summer and Hawley Streets

  • Huntington Theatre Company will build a forward-looking, fantasy New Year’s Eve installation festooned with clocks and calendars. 481 Washington Street

  • Cambridge’s legendary Revels troupe brings an international, fantastical twist to a Winter Solstice theme, with a scene that includes some of the group’s iconic props, costumes and music. 395 Washington Street

The performing arts organizations participating in “Stage Windows” are granted access to the locations with the help of Boston BID property owners, and given a generous stipend from the BID to employ artists and construction teams need to design and build the storefront displays.

 At the intersection of Winter and Washington Streets, the Downtown Boston-based design firm Black Math — known for its creative campaigns for high-level brands like Reebok, and their recent projection mapping work for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston — will transform the Downtown Crossing floral kiosk into a glowing, three-dimensional lantern that lights up the area’s main intersection in celebration of the Winter Solstice. Farther east on Washington Street, Black Math turns the Downtown Crossing Steps into a 3-D tableau of the harvest sun, with iconic and mythic figures heralding the arrival of winter. Both sites are planned with augmented reality experiences for visitors, including photo filters and digital stickers that encourage social media posting and participation.

These installations and the “Stage Windows” activities complement a large-scale holiday activation of Downtown Crossing this winter, highlighted by the signature annual holiday tree at anchor retailer Macy’s, and the Boston BID’s beautification of the streets with dazzling lights, holiday flora, wreaths, and more to delight downtown shoppers, diners, workers, and residents. Along Summer Street, 24 holiday trees, topping 8 feet each, will twinkle to guide viewers along the pedestrian plaza.

Kids eager to put their toy lists in with Santa Claus can visit the jolly old elf himself throughout the holiday season, live, in person, and taking orders every Saturday and Sunday through December 20 from 12-2 pm and 3-4 pm at the Primark store windows on Washington Street.

Downtown Crossing visitors can also take in the recently installed public art series “Tasteful Boston,” which earlier this fall engaged 11 artists from around Boston to paint utility boxes throughout the District with fresh, colorful imagery celebrating the unique history of Boston’s culinary scene. A map of the sites is available at

“We have curated a true outdoor holiday adventure for the District,” Sansone says. “Downtown Holiday Magic will be a true winter wonder for everyone who comes through Downtown Crossing this year.”