Christmas throughout the decades - the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall

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halimer

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ghows-PA-610b24b1-8570-7a5e-e053-0100007ff0e7-4881afac.jpgIn my opinion, nothing beats spending Christmas in NYC. The store windows are beautifully decorated, the trees that appear in front of almost every building are brightly lit, and there is a wonderful feeling of merriment in the air.

Along with the Angel tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the BIG tree in Rockefeller Center and the NY Public Library lions dressed in their festive wreaths, the Rockettes at the Radio City Music Hall are another holiday “must see”.

The show has changed a lot since I first saw it as a child – now a holographic Santa flies over the audience – but some things have remained the same, like the nativity scene with real animals on stage and the Rockettes doing their famous kicks and marching like wooden soldiers.

When I met my husband Mark his best friend was John and John was dating Laurie and every Friday night we went out together and had pizza. We also began spending Christmas with the extended family and have done so – with absences for Covid – for over 40 years. Everyone in the family was/is lovely and I eventually found out that John’s mother, the nice lady on the couch who gave lovely gifts, was Violet Holmes, former Rockette and ultimately head choreographer and Director of the troupe from 1977 until her retirement in 1992.

Violet remained active in the Rockettes alumni association and after her passing, in 2019, at a memorial hosted by son John and wife Laurie (yes, we all got married within a month of each other and have stayed married all these years) dozens of former Rockettes shared their memories of Violet and how she had encouraged them and worked with them when they were performing in the show.

If you want to learn more about Violet Holmes and her career with the Rockettes these are two good places to start.

Retired Rockette still tapping to the beat is an entertaining article in a local newspaper https://www.phillyburbs.com/story/news/2017/12/26/retired-rockette-still-tapping-to/16732708007/

The Violet Holmes Collection at the New York Public Library has biographical information https://archives.nypl.org/dan/186116
 

Lori K

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Wow! So interesting. I’ve loved watching their performances on TV over the years and would love to see them in person. Another addition to my “bucket list”!
 

PamelaG

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What a great post! The Nativity scene is amazing, you get all choked up, want to cry and rejoice at the same time at the majesty of it all. Christmas in NYC is on our bucket list.
 

AnnieClaus

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LOVE the Rockettes!
Definitely also on my bucket list.

Thank you for the history. Will check out the links.
Awesome you have a personal connection!

Annie
 

halimer

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Whenever anyone gets to NYC - on Christmas or any other time - I will be happy to meet you and show you my city.
 

sweetpumkinpye

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Whenever anyone gets to NYC - on Christmas or any other time - I will be happy to meet you and show you my city.
I have had the absolute privilege of not only visiting NYC twice but catching up with our dear Debbie. My daughter and I rate it as a highlight and often talk about the lunch we had at Juniors. It was like meeting my sister.
 

Holiday_Mom

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This was fascinating and then to see Violet Holmes has a place in the NYPL archives... Wow... a family historian's dream! :) ;) Reading this reminded me of the Hallmark movie on the Rockettes called "A Holiday Spectacular.”
 

jampss

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I saw that Hallmark movie this past season. It was good. Ann Margret!
 

missjane

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Debbie, that is so neat! I would love to see them someday.
 

MinnieCo

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Whenever anyone gets to NYC - on Christmas or any other time - I will be happy to meet you and show you my city.
My girlfriend and I are trying to make it there this year. Hopefully the 1st week of December is it goes as planned!
 

halimer

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My girlfriend and I are trying to make it there this year. Hopefully the 1st week of December is it goes as planned!
Most holiday festivities start right after Thanksgiving so that should be a perfect time. Do let me know if you'd like a "guide".
 

MinnieCo

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Most holiday festivities start right after Thanksgiving so that should be a perfect time. Do let me know if you'd like a "guide".
Definitely will!!!