Nothing sets the tone for the holiday season like the official tree lighting ceremonies held in cities throughout Southern California. These festive events can include entertainment and the arrival of Santa. Best of all, these events are all free. Here is a list of some notable celebrations.
Nov. 21, 6:30 p.m.
Union Station’s South Patio, 800 N. Alameda St., LA, 90012
Take the Antelope Valley Metrolink from the Via Princessa, Santa Clarita or Newhall stations to downtown’s Union Station for a special evening tree lighting event. Sit under the stars and watch as the station is transformed into a winter wonderland as the giant white Christmas tree is lit with thousands of twinkling lights. There will be live performances, a gingerbread house, Kid’s Zone, ornament crafts, selfies with Santa, photo booth and a free hot chocolate “Cocoa Bar” complete with “Elftenders.”
Dec. 1, 6 p.m.
Mayor’s Tree Lighting
City Hall, 275 E. Olive Ave.
Celebrate the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, special guests from Disneyland, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, entertainment and holiday music. Write a letter to the troops for the holidays.
Dec. 2, 5 p.m.
Los Angeles County
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Music Center Plaza in Grand Park
135. N. Grand Ave., L.A., 90012
Los Angeles kicks off the holiday season with the county’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. This joyous celebration will include civic speakers, including Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger who represents the Santa Clarita, San Fernando, San Gabriel and Antelope Valleys. and performances by Brass Pacifica and a local school choir. The event is free and open to the public. Hot cocoa will be served to keep attendees warm. KABC-TV’s Danny Romero hosts.
Dec. 5, 5 p.m.
Fifth Annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony, 5 p.m.
25888 The Old Road
Stevenson Ranch, 91381
Events take place in the amphitheater area of the upper marketplace. Visits with Santa, balloon magic by Magic Castle magician Dennis Forel and entertainment by local school choirs. At 7 p.m. community leaders will join Santa and costumed characters to pull the giant lever to light up the tree.
There will be special effects, music and more entertainment. toy drive with the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station. A toy drive is being held in partnership with the SCV Sheriff’s Station. Bring a new unwrapped toy to the Tree Lighting. Or, you can drop off toyas at Mod Pizza or the Stevenson Ranch Library through Dec. 20. The donated toys will go to children in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Mod Pizza is located at 25910 The Old Road and the Stevenson Ranch Library is located at 25950 The Old Road.
Dec. 6, 5 p.m.
Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Mission Park & Mission
211 E. Main St., Ventura, 93001
Kids fun, Santa, choirs, snow and lights. See the historic pines aglow, meet Santa and enjoy snowfall with your friends and family. The twin Norfolk Pine Trees at Mission San Buenaventura and the Mission Park Fig Tree will be lit. Festivities start at 5 p.m. and include a Christmas Village with a variety of booths in Figueroa Plaza. Choirs and dancing at 5:30 p.m. with Santa, snow and lights at 6:45 p.m.
The Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at California Street Mini Park features the decorated 20-foot-tall professionally decorated tree. It will stand on the park’s main stage throughout December.
See Santa Claus arrive on a red City of Ventura fire engine. Free parking is available in the adjacent parking structure and nearby parking lots.
Dec. 7, 5 p.m.
Military Honor Christmas Tree Lighting
Veteran’s Historical Plaza
24275 Walnut St., Newhall, 91321
Messick Family Singers will perform in this heartwarming ceremony honoring our military heroes, past and present. Lighting of the Military Honor Christmas Tree, which will stay lit with red, white and blue lights through New Year’s. Hot cocoa, coffee and treats.