Empire State Building celebrates Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary

Published on: 13th November 2019

The Empire State Building lit up the tower in yellow and green in celebration of Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary. 

Sesame Street is turning 50. To mark the anniversary of the beloved children’s programme, and the non-profit educational organisation behind the show Sesame Workshop, the Empire State Building was lit in the familiar yellow and green of the Sesame Street sign on Sunday 10th November.

At an advance lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building, the Mayor’s Office of New York City declared it to be “Caroll Spinney Day”, honouring the puppeteer who recently retired after playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969. Anne del Castillo, commissioner of the Mayor’s office of Media and Entertainment, presented an official proclamation to Spinney at the iconic building’s visitor centre, and Big Bird was on hand to flip the ceremonial switch.

“From the very beginning, New York City has been our hometown, as well as the physical and emotional inspiration for Sesame Street,” said Steve Youngwood, president of Media & Education and chief operating officer, Sesame Workshop. “We are thrilled to celebrate our milestone anniversary with the Mayor’s Office and the landmark Empire State Building—partners who also celebrate diversity, embrace innovation and encourage us all to reach for the skies.”

“We recognise Sesame Street’s contribution to the engagement with and education of children and families for 50 years, and are thrilled to welcome Big Bird to our observatory and showcase Sesame Street in its signature green and yellow on our landmark tower,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, president of the Empire State Building Observatory.


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