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'Christmas Spectacular' Show Canceled for the First Time in 87 Years – What Happened?

Jaimie-lee Prince
Aug 07, 2020
06:00 P.M.

One of the biggest annual holiday specials has been canceled due to COVID-19. After 87 years of consistency, locals and tourist alike will be missing out on the dancing spectacular.


The New York Times reported that the Radio City Rockettes will not be delivering their yearly Christmas holiday performance due to the pandemic caused by this year's novel coronavirus.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSG), the parent company of Radio City Music Hall, announced the news earlier this week via their website. The Rockettes also shared the update on social media. The post is found below.



They wrote: "We regret that the 2020 production of the Christmas Spectacular [...] presented by Chase has been canceled due to continued uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic."

The group added that they look forward to receiving guests next year and informed customers of a point-of-purchase refund option. In the comment section, fans expressed both disappointment and understanding.



According to the New York Times, this is the first time in 87 years that the beloved show will not take place. Typically, 80 Rockettes give as much as four shows per day.

A spokesperson for MSG Entertainment said that the steps were taken to protect the company's future interests. She noted that they are working towards "solutions that will allow us to safely reopen our doors."


The outlet further reported that 350 people are set to be laid off by the company. In the meantime, fans can purchase tickets in advance for performances due in November 2021.


Another family-oriented event that was canceled this year is the Scripps National Spelling Bee 2020. The educational show was initially postponed before officials decided to completely call it off.

The eight co-champions celebrate after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday May 30, 2019 in Oxon Hill, Md | Photo: Getty Images

The eight co-champions celebrate after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday May 30, 2019 in Oxon Hill, Md | Photo: Getty Images


They did consider doing the show in virtual form but found it would be too difficult. Like the Christmas Spectacular, the event is set to return next year in early June.

Paige Kimble, the event's executive director, explained on Twitter that the move was a result of the COVID-19 crisis. "Our first priority has to be the health and well-being of our spellers and their families and [...] staff," she noted.

The cash prize for the National Spelling Bee competition would have been $50,000. In lieu of winnings, the would-be contestants received backpacks filled with keepsakes.

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