Cheesecake Factory gets ready to serve; Sundance tree lighting set

The Cheesecake Factory at Sundance Square will open on Dec. 9, officials with Sundance announced today. The 8,800-square-foot restaurant – being built in the former Barnes and Noble Cafe at Fourth and Commerce streets and the Ferre restaurant space next door – will have space for 231 diners and patio seating for 44, according to Sundance officials. Sundance Square also announced it will kick off the holidays with the lighting of the Sundance Square Christmas Tree on Saturday, Nov. 22. Tree lighting will feature a visit from Santa Claus, musical and theatrical entertainment, as well as photo opportunities throughout the plaza. “The 58-foot blue spruce tree we have chosen this year is stunning,” said Tracy Gilmour, marketing director for Sundance Square. “The tree will sit in the center of the plaza until New Year’s Day and will be decorated with thousands of lights and gorgeous trimmings. Celebrating the holidays in Sundance Square has always been a great tradition and this will be another great year with family and friends.” The Sundance Square Christmas Tree will make its way from Everett, Michigan to Texas where it will arrive on November 17. The blue spruce tree will be decorated throughout the week with LED lights that are 100 percent offset with pollution-free Texas wind power from Sundance Square’s energy partner, Green Mountain Energy Company. Family-style festivities begin November 22 at 4 p.m. with choirs on the main stage, entertainers, classic holiday characters, as well as new shops and restaurants to explore. The 32 Annual XTO Energy Parade of Lights will begin at 6:00 pm on Friday, Nov. 28 at Belknap and Throckmorton. Cowboy Santas volunteers will collect new, unwrapped toys along the parade route before the parade begins. New Year’s Eve festivities in Sundance Square include Fort Worth’s Luke Wade, a current contender on NBC’s seventh season of The Voice, as the headliner with the Indie-Folk Americana Duo Dawn and Hawkes scheduled to open from the Plaza Stage beginning at 9:30 pm. – Robert Francis