On the last day of November every year, Los Gatos gathers around the large redwood tree downtown for the annual tree lighting ceremony. The tree has been decorated with Christmas lights, and the lights stay on for the entire month of December.
Around 6:00 PM on Fri., Nov. 30, Los Gatos families walked or drove over to the tree to watch as the mayor flipped the light switch. The entire event lasted from 4:30-7:00 PM. The decorated tree is nearly one hundred years old. As the Los Gatos Community Foundation states, “The tree was planted by the History Club of Los Gatos in 1923.” At the tree lighting event, people enjoyed hot chocolate and sweet candy canes. The money from the food booth went back to the town to fund a variety of projects that improve the town as a whole.
Choirs and bands from local schools also came and performed for the crowds of people, including the LGHS band and the RJ Fisher Middle School choir and string orchestra. They sang and played traditional Christmas carols and an assortment of other songs. Senior Caitlyn Yee remembered how she, “participated in Fisher choir my eighth grade year. I remember rehearsing for a few weeks, and we performed a handful of songs.” The organizer also arranged a very special visit with Santa Claus. Nearly thirty people stood in line with their eager children to take their picture with Mr. Claus. Santa Claus even brought two of his elves to the event. Hopefully they won’t be too behind on gifts this year.
Between the food, choir, and VIP visit from Santa, what more could a little kid want? How about a picture with an old fire truck dressed up for the holidays? The Santa Clara County Fire Department made an appearance with their festive truck, which had a wreath on the hood and a banner along the side of the truck reading “Los Gatos Community Foundation.” All through the night, any bystander could hear lots of excited children saying anything from, “I want to pose with Santa” to “I love fire trucks.” Some parents said that they have been coming to the event for multiple years and plan on coming to many more in the future. Los Gatos High School senior Iris Beckstrom also went to the event. She stated, “I haven’t been to this event before, but it’s so cute and festive I’m glad I came this year.” All around, this wholesome family tradition is worth the annual wait.
(Sources: Los Gatos Community Foundation, Los Gatos CA)