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Countdown to the Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration

Christmas Eve will mark 53 years of L.A.'s biggest holiday show. Here's a roundup of what it takes to put on the Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration.

December 18, 2012|By Jamie Wetherbe
  • The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will perform at this year's L.A. County Holiday Celebration.
The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will perform at this year's… (Ed Krieger )

Los Angeles brims with traditions this time of year, and every Christmas Eve for more than half a century, the city's many faiths have shared one stage.

The annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration, which started as a 12-hour neighborhood talent show, will showcase 23 local music and dance groups from cultures near and far during a three-hour concert that's free to all and is broadcast on TV, radio and the Web.

"It's really become what you do in L.A. on Christmas Eve, even if you don't celebrate Christmas," said Adam Davis, managing director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, which produces the program.

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To mark its 53rd year, we count down what it takes to put on L.A.'s biggest (and Emmy-nominated) holiday show.

1 million: People expected to tune into the live KCET broadcast

$832,000: Cost of this year's show (and paid for by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors)

10,000: Hours of work for staff and production crew

5,000: People in the audience, who come and go throughout the program

1,200: Viewers expected to watch the live stream on

629: Performers

500: Pounds of dry ice to create a foggy effect for the Shin Dance Company, a nonprofit that stages traditional Chinese dance

250: Volunteers and staff

100-plus: light bulbs

82: Age of the oldest performer, Aiga Tagaloa with the Second Samoan Congregational Church, who will perform alongside her great-grandchildren

75: Ushers

60: Microphones on stage

51: Stagehands

24: Music stands

20: Headsets for live broadcast

18: Times the curtain opens

15: Art forms presented, among them mariachi and classical Indian dance

12: Returning groups, including the Gay Men's Chorus, which has performed a record 17 times since 1995

5: Countries represented: China, India, Mexico, United States and Samoa

5: Age of the youngest performers, members of the Salvation Army Tabernacle Children's Chorus

3: Days of setup

1: Day of rehearsal


53rd Annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration

Where: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, downtown Los Angeles

When: 3 to 6 p.m. Monday

Tickets: Admission and parking are free. Attendees may come and go throughout the show.

Information: (213) 972-3099 or

Also: Broadcast live on TV on KCET and on radio at KPFK-FM (90.7), and streamed live at


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