The Annual Ice Spectacular at the Houston Galleria marks the beginning of the holiday season in the Bayou City, and the celebration is back in person this year, after a virtual commemoration in 2020 due to the pandemic.
This year, Houstonians can bring in the yuletide at The Galleria with the lighting of its 55-foot Christmas tree, which features 450,000 twinkling lights and thousands of ornaments.
Known as one of Houston's most coveted holiday celebrations, the Christmas tree lighting typically features performances from iconic Houstonians. Years past included Angelica Hale, the runner-up from Season 12 of America’s Got Talent. This year will feature R&B songstress Dana Monique, a former contestant on season 20 of The Voice.
"I was very excited," Monique exclaims. "Growing up in Houston, we see this tree every year. We get to experience its beauty and it gets you in the holiday spirit, so I was extremely excited when they reached out."
Dana, a 41-year-old singer from Houston earned two chair-turns from Nick Jonas and John Legend in the blind auditions with her powerful performance of "Freeway of Love." In a jaw-dropping season, Monique surprised fans and judges included, choosing Team Nick since he had yet to win as a coach on the show. She sang ballads "Stuck with U" and "Nutbush City Limits" before she lost the necessary votes to advance.
Monique recalls her time spent on The Voice, though she was eliminated in the semifinals. "It was something I had never done before, it was an amazing experience. I love meeting new people," Monique explains. "It was amazing being a part of something that can make a difference when people hear your story. I've always wanted to be that person to give someone a sense of hope."
Now, the dynamic vocalist will bring her talents as well as holiday cheer home to Houston. The event will culminate with the lighting of the tree by a Skating Santa and a fireworks display. The skating component of the evening will be highlighted by a spectacular group of professional skaters on the ice.
The 32 annual Galleria Christmas Tree Lighting & Ice Spectacular will be held Saturday, November 13, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m at the Houston Galleria, 5085 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77056. For more information, visit the website.