GMA to broadcast live from SF's Union Square

"Good Morning America" (GMA) will televise live from San Francisco's Union Square on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, as part of the ABC network holiday promotion "Sam Champion Lights Up America." The live broadcast, from 4 a.m. until 6 a.m., will be re-run locally at its regularly scheduled time of 7 - 9 a.m. (PST).

The program will include GMA weatherman Sam Champion welcoming the live audience from a decorated classic cable car, rising in a cherry picker to place an ornament on the top of Macy's 85-foot tree, and leading an audience countdown to illuminate the holiday lights in Union Square. The broadcast will also include a performance by Beach Blanket Babylon.

Caitlin McGinty, along with fellow cast members, will sing "San Francisco" while wearing the San Francisco Skyline Hat, which is 11'4" tall, 10' wide and 4'4" deep and features the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, SFMOMA, a moving cable car and other city landmarks.

Over 1,000 people are expected to gather at 3 a.m. in Union Square for the festivities, which will be seen by an estimated television audience of 4.5 million viewers.

"On Dec. 3, we encourage all San Francisco visitors and residents to set their alarms and get up early to say 'Good Morning America' in an 'Only in San Francisco' way," said Joe D'Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB). "And don't forget to bring 'One Warm Coat' as part of GMA's holiday coat drive."

The live remote in Union Square will coincide with the opening of San Francisco's holiday window at GMA's New York studio in Times Square. Joe D'Alessandro, president and CEO of the SFCVB will unveil San Francisco's window design to GMA's morning anchor team, Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts and Chris Cuomo. Times Square attracts more than 450,000 visitors per day during the holiday season and GMA's holiday windows have become a "must-see" visitor attraction.

For the third consecutive year, GMA will transform its Times Square Studios into a winter wonderland by showcasing three U.S. cities in their three street-level windows located in the heart of New York's Times Square on 44th and Broadway.

The *"Only in San Francisco" window will portray the essence of San Francisco during the holidays.

Designer and sculptor Tom Greenfield has creatively showcased many of San Francisco's most recognizable attractions and icons, including the Golden Gate Bridge; San Francisco's famed cable cars; Coit Tower; AT&T Park - home of the San Francisco Giants; the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park; Macy's Union Square and holiday ice rink; and San Francisco International Airport. Beach Blanket Babylon, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary, will also be represented, as will Wicked, which is in San Francisco for an extended engagement.

The San Francisco CityPass, which provides visitors access to some of San Francisco's most visited attractions, including SFMOMA; Aquarium of the Bay; Blue & Gold Fleet bay cruise; the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, and the Exploratorium will also be represented in the holiday window design.

The "Only in San Francisco" banner will be carried by a replica of a Virgin America plane, San Francisco's award-winning hometown airline.

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