Home #Hwoodtimes Citadel Outlets 17th Annual Tree Lighting Concert

Citadel Outlets 17th Annual Tree Lighting Concert

Saturday early evening concert featuring John Lindahl, American Idol Season 16 runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson and American Idol Season 16 winner Maddie Poppe

By: Judy Shields

Photos & Videos: The Hollywood Times photographer Steve Viero

Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 11/12/18 – “Thank you all for coming out to the Citadel Outlets here in the beautiful City of Commerce. It is my pleasure to have you here and share the stage with Miss Commerce Emily Valle.” Hugo A. Argumedo, Mayor of the City of Commerce, told the audience.

City of Commerce Mayor Hugo A Argumedo & City of Commerce Queen Emily Valle

Actress Emmanuelle Vaugier (Mia on Two and Half Men) and Danny Berk (a semi-professional surfer and Snapchat entertainer) opened up the concert with thanking everyone for coming out and talked about the other past entertainers that have been onstage at the prior years like Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Victoria Justice and told the screaming young ladies that John Lindahl would be the opener, followed by 16th Season American Idol runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson and 16th Season American Idol winner Maddie Poppe, plus the All-American Boys Chorus and most importantly Santa.

It was an amazing concert and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony yet again this year.

John Lindahl interview:

John Lindahl

THT: What are you looking forward to tonight?

John: “I am looking forward to performing for my fans and I will have a full band with horns and feeding off the energy of them and the crowd..”

THT: What have you been working on lately, new music?

John: “My new album is pretty much done. I definitely want to keep writing and not close off anything until I feel that I am finished with the songs. I have 13 or 14 songs that I was ready to put out there.”

THT: How many songs will you have on the new album?

John: “Like 10 or 12 is the normal standard. I always say that Michael Jackson had 9 on “Thriller” so you really don’t need more than 9. If you have more, that is great.”

THT: Do you happen to have one picked out to be your first single of the album?

John: “I actually have a bunch I want to be singles, now that I am looking at it, I want many of them to be my first single. There are at least 4 songs that I want to put out as singles. I am super excited.”

THT: What brings you back again this year?

John: “They haven’t stopped asking me, and I have a great relationship with The Citadel and I have a great time performing here. It is great practice for me. I toured with Logic this summer and that was amazing. I like to do concerns with this size of a crowd for practice going out on the road touring.”

THT: When do you expect the new album to be released?

John: “It’s pretty close, in terms of being finished, it’s good. We are just working on this situation where it makes sense, and I can’t say much about that right now. Done, but once I release that information it will make sense why I am being patient about it. It is so closed to being done and thanks for supporting me.”

THT: What do you want for Christmas this year?

John: “Honestly, my family has been so busy, we have all been busy working on our personal careers and my sister in college, I honestly just want to spend time with my family for the holidays. The time that we all come together. I don’t necessarily want anything material this year, I just kind of want that time with them and one of my favorite things of the year.”

THT: What is your favorite Christmas song?

John: “Christmas Song by Manhattan Transfer, Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis.”

Caleb Lee Hutchinson interview:

THT: How did you feel performing for the judges for the first time?

Caleb: “You know what, it’s funny. We just visited some of the LA auditions and it really reminded me that just one year ago it all kind of started happening. I can’t even watch the tape of me auditioning because I am shaking and freaking out. I think I have grown so much in the year from that, certainly with something like American Idol you have to learn real quick to be confident with yourself when it comes to signing for folks, I feel I have grown since the beginning.”

THT: How about the three judges, did you have a favorite one?

Caleb. “Oh man, truly I think in the beginning I loved Lionel the most, just because Lionel gives off this grandpa vibe or like a cool uncle. I loved them all and had the pleasure of playing at Luke’s farm tour in Georgia. I played with him there and have talked with Katy of good bit and they are all great people. They are really invested, although they are busy, they are involved. I think that is the thing that makes auditioning so hard, because you have this idea of these big time scary people. I remember walking in and they didn’t even look real to me, they have the light shining on them and you have to stand on the mark on the floor, it just doesn’t feel like real life. They are real people and they want to see people do well.”

THT: Did you think a lot about the song you were going to perform in the first audition?

Caleb: “I did a song called If It Hadn’t Been For Love by the Steeldrivers, which was one I had been singing, and Chris Stapleton sang lead vocals on that and I just thought it would be cool opportunity to do something country, but not something that you hear a whole lot and gave me chance to stand out. I thought it set the tone for all the other songs I did on the show.”

Caleb Lee Hutchinson & THT reporter Judy Shields

THT: How was the American Idol Tour?

Caleb: “About a month ago and it was a long tour. How many people can say they rode on a tour bus across the country. We did 47 shows and we saw a lot of this country. It was incredible and the whole crew was amazing. Everybody that traveled with us and all the venues made it awesome. We go to hang out with the top seven wins and I got to hang out with all my friend. It could not have been better.”

THT: What do you want for Christmas?

Caleb: “What do I want for Christmas, hum, world peace, a million dollars.”

THT: What do you want Santa to bring you?

Caleb: “That’s a good question. You know what I have been running low on socks here lately.”

THT: That’s a great answer!

Caleb. “Yeah, yeah, that’s because it is bad when you get down to just one and you can’t find it’s friend.”

THT: You are 19, do you do your own laundry or does your Mom do it?

Caleb: “Okay, pre-Idol and tour my Mom did my laundry. I know how to do it, it was just like my Mom enjoyed being a mom, but I had to learn very quickly how to do my own laundry. When I go home, it is sure nice to give her a big bag of dirty, nasty clothes. And say thank you momma. I am sure I have a lost sock in every state of the union!”

THT: Have you been working on new music?

Caleb. “Yes I have been working with Kristian Bush, from Sugarland. He has a studio in Atlanta and I got to record some songs with him and cool writing sessions getting ready to put out some new music real soon.”

Maddie Poppe interview:

THT: How was the American Idol live tour?

Maddie: “It was a lot of fun. Lot of new things that we quite didn’t understand how that lifestyle works. So it was really cool to go through it all together and we were away from our families for so long. Traveling on the road, it can kind of get to you sometimes. It was cool to be on the road with six of my best friends.”

THT: Which was your favorite venue that you performed at?

Maddie: “We had a lot of fun at the Ryman and there was a lot of press at that show, so many people from the industry were showing up, so there was a lot of pressure. I think that one was the one that we all gave our all and had a lot of fun with it.”

THT: What was it like seeing the World’s tallest Christmas at your rehearsal set?

Maddie Poppe and THT reporter Judy Shields

Maddie: “Let me tell you about it. I was sitting up there and the Christmas tree was behind me, so I’m looking around for this Christmas tree that they say is so huge, where is it. I look around and there it is behind me, and it’s huge and let me tell ya, I’m glad there is wires holding it up, because I was just thinking, I can’t imagine if that thing fell on top of me.”

THT: So what do you want for Christmas from Santa?

Maddie: “What do I want for Christmas? You know I want, I don’t’ know, I think as you get older, you don’t really want items anymore, just want to be with your family, or like for you and your family to be healthy or just for happiness. That might sound like cheesy, but that is what I wish for.”

THT: Will you be here locally with your family?

Maddie: “I am going home to be with my family this year and I am so excited for that.”

THT: Do you have a few words to say to our readers?

Maddie: “Thank you for all the support that everyone has shown me this past year and it’s been fun. At the end of day, I get to go online and see what all my fans are saying. So thank you all.”


The concert ended with Maddie and Caleb singing a couple of songs together. A crowd pleaser for sure.





The concert before the Christmas Tree Lighting was truly a memorable one.  Great music performed by very talented artist.

After the concert Danny Berk and Emmanuelle came back on stage to bring up Chipper, the CHP mascot and CHP officer to accept toys brougt up onstage by the entertainers and City of Commerce Mayor, Miss Commerce and her court and some CHP explorer cadets.  Each one told what toy they brought and what that toy meant to them and them handed the toy off to Chipper who then put it in a barrel to be distributed to local children.


The All-American Boy Chorus took the stage during the toy gift giving and Santa appeared and the countdown started from 10 and once everyone said ONE, the 110 foot Christmas tree was lite up and snow began to fall. What a wonderful night for snow and the sounds of the All-American Boys Chorus to sing Christmas songs.  If you missed it, don’t forget to come next year 2019.

Near the end of its lifespan, this tree is part of an important forest manicuring process that frees up forest space for smaller trees and keeps the forest healthy. In the interest of forest preservation, 12 replacement trees are planted in its place.


Doors open at 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving November 22, 2018!

Located just 10 minutes south of Downtown L.A. on the I-5, Citadel Outlets is the smartest choice for holiday deal-hunters. With 130 world class brands together in one location – and mega savings at each brand ON TOP OF the center’s daily commitment to 30-70% off retail prices – and breathtaking, record-setting holiday décor, Citadel Outlets’ Moonlight Madness sale promises an all-night, 27-hour shopping experience not only unlike anywhere else in Los Angeles but unlike anywhere else in the world.

While pausing to rest and refuel between deals, shoppers are invited to pose for holiday photos in front of the World’s Tallest Live-Cut Christmas Tree adorned with over 18,000 twinkling lights, donate a new, unwrapped toy in the toy drive bins at the Customer Service Center or snap a shot of the World’s Biggest Bow from the palm tree-lined Citadel Outlets Drive.

Santa Claus will be posing for photos in his House every day from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm starting on Friday, November 23 and continuing until Christmas Eve.

About Citadel Outlets

Citadel Outlets is a 700,000 square foot mixed-use commercial property, featuring a hotel, four office buildings, and Los Angeles’ ONLY retail outlet center. The historical façade was built more than 75 years ago and is located just 10 minutes south of Downtown Los Angeles and 25 minutes north of Anaheim off Interstate 5.

Citadel Outlets continues to reinvent the shopping landscape in Los Angeles. While maintaining its historical architecture, a $52 million renovation took place in 2008. This multi-million dollar renovation included the addition of 126,000 square feet and 35 new powerful brand name stores. In 2010, the center expanded again opening an additional 157,000 square feet including 36 more new stores, positioning Citadel Outlets as Southern California’s most convenient and attractive outlet shopping destination. Citadel Outlets now boasts 130 brand name stores offering 30%-70% off retail prices, 700,000 square feet of fabulous outlet shopping and a trade area expanding to 30 miles.

A variety of fashions and accessories can be found at Michael Kors, H&M, Kipling, COACH, kate spade, Tillys, Perry Ellis, Calvin Klein, Banana Republic Factory Store and Tommy Hilfiger. Sportswear found at well-known manufacturers like Under Armour, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Reebok, Puma and Nike. Young adult shoppers thrill at the up-to-date selection at Guess Factory Store, Converse, Quiksilver Factory Store and Hurley. New fashions for children are offered at The Children’s Place, Gymboree and OshKosh and families love Old Navy and Gap Outlets. Food choices are plentiful at Citadel Outlets with over 16 food choices including Starbucks, Chipotle, Pieology, Ruby’s Diner and Pronto Café.

In addition to the multiple expansions of the outlet center, Craig Realty Group has changed the face of history with the addition of ten large format signs erected high above the historic wall along Interstate 5. The state-of-the-art screens are 30′ tall by 23′ wide and expose high impact messages to over 500,000 vehicles traveling I-5 north and southbound every day. Eight of the ten signs utilize LED (light emitting diodes) technology to create high definition images comparable to today’s flat screen televisions. The spectacular signs span 1700 feet of the historic wall and were carefully selected to showcase the center’s renovation and expansion and position Citadel Outlets as Los Angeles’ premier outlet shopping venue.

Located within twenty-five minutes of West Los Angeles, Orange County and the Valley (along one of the busiest freeways in the world), Citadel Outlets is L.A.’s only outlet shops! For more information call (323) 888-1724 Citadel Outlets is located at 100 Citadel Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90040. The center is open Monday through Sunday from 10AM through 9PMc