Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

November 21, 2006 > Tree Lightings and more

Tree Lightings and more

by Arathi Satish

Oh, by gosh, by golly
It's time for mistletoe and holly
Fancy ties an' granny's pies
An' folks stealin' a kiss or two
As they whisper, "Merry Christmas" to you
Frank Sinatra

Here comes Santa Claus, bright lights and warm greetings laying claim to our thoughts throughout chilly days and cold nights as winter approaches. Tis a season of good cheer and happiness as some celebrate the birth of their savior and others simply join in to share the spirit of good feelings and joyful celebration. Christmas has become synonymous with beautifully decorated houses and lighted Christmas trees. Twinkling lights of different colors and configurations are everywhere as shoppers converge on stores to find special gifts and decorations to share with loved ones.  Communities will gather to share seasonal camaraderie, sing seasonal favorite songs and watch Tree Lighting ceremonies. Following family traditions of Thanksgiving, festivities escalate as the fantastic and fanciful claim superiority over the mundane for the month of December.

Christmas became larger than a celebration of faith as the loving spirit of the season embraced more and more people around the world. The Christmas tree first appeared in Germany in the 16th century. Martin Luther added lighted candles and tinsel appeared around 1610. During the 19th century, Americans thought of Christmas trees as an oddity, a pagan symbol. In 1846, a popular Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their children were sketched in the Illustrated London News standing around the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree was accepted!

Decorated Christmas trees made their appearance towards the end of 1800’s, once again in Germany. Candles were glued with melted wax to tree branches. Candleholders were used in 1890’s. Small lanterns and glass balls were used to hold candles in the early 1900’s, becoming popular in America too. During the early 20th century, Americans decorated their trees with home made ornaments, while German-Americans used apples, nuts, marzipan cookies, popcorns and berries. Invention of electricity brought in Christmas lights and the trees bean glowing for days together. Decorating and lighted Christmas trees started appearing in town squares and having one in the home became an American tradition. In 1913, a new tradition began in Washington, D.C. when President Woodrow Wilson and Vice President Thomas Marshall took part in a tree lighting ceremony.

In the greater Tri-City area, traditional tree lightings and fun winter activities will help to keep spirits high and welcome Santa Claus when he makes his annual appearances in the area.

Friday, November 24 – Fremont

Niles Festival of Lights Parade and Holiday Tree Lighting
Tree Lighting at 6 p.m.
Parade at 6:30 p.m.
The traditional kick-off for the Christmas season on the evening after Thanksgiving,  Niles knows how to throw a party!
Main Street of Niles District
(510) 792-8023

Sunday, November 26 - Fremont
Holiday in Centerville - Annual Tree Lighting
Skating rink opens at 10 a.m.
Craft and food booths open at 1 p.m.
Santa appears at 2 p.m.
Tree lighting at 6 p.m.
Centerville Business Association always puts on a good show and ends the first holiday weekend with a memorable event! Donate $5 of nonperishable foods and earn a raffle ticket.
Centerville Depot
37260 Fremont Blvd.

Monday, November 27 - Fremont
Trees of Angels Tree Lighting
Tree Lighting at 6 p.m.
A brief program/refreshments/live entertainment by MSJ Choral Group/raffle/gift items available. Support the important work of hospice and view a spectacular tree lighting.
McDonald’s Restaurant
42800 Mission Blvd. at Rt.680, Fremont
(510) 791-3428

Thursday, November 30 - Hayward
Light up the Season!
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Live holiday entertainment, tree lighting, merchant open house and much more.
“B” Street between Foothill Blvd. and City Hall on Watkins Street
(510) 537-2424

Friday, December 1 - Milpitas
Community Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting
7 p.m.
Live performances, holiday songs and a special visit and photo opportunities with Santa will highlight this community event.
City Hall
455 E. Calaveras Blvd.
(510) 586-3000

Saturday, December 2 - Fremont
Breakfast with Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald
8:30 a.m.
Breakfast, Ronald and Santa, what more could a child ask for? Always a hit, call for tickets now! Breakfast limited to first 300 reservations.
Washington West, Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium
2500 Mowry Avenue, Fremont
$5 per person
510-791-3428 or

Saturday, December 2 - Fremont
Annual Mission San Jose Christmas Tree lighting
The Old School Business Center
Mission Blvd & Cedar Street, across Ohlone College
5:30 p.m. Gathering
6:00 p.m. Entertainment
6:15 p.m. Tree Lighting and arrival of special guest
Mission San Jose brings its energy and founding community spirit to the holiday season. The old schoolhouse is the perfect setting for the holidays nestled along the hills of Mission Peak near historic Mission San Jose and Ohlone College. Please bring a donation of canned goods for Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank.

Monday, December 4 - Newark
City of Newark’s Annual Tree Lighting
6:15 – 7 p.m.
Caroling, refreshments and special visits from Santa and Newark Memorial Cougar Chords. Don’t miss the choreography and talent of the Cougar Chords!
Newark Civic Center, Carl Pierce Memorial Tree
37101 Newark Blvd., Newark
(510) 742-4437

Friday, December 8 - Fremont
Warm Springs Christmas Tree Lighting
6:30 p.m.
Santa arrives to help celebrate the season. Activities for everyone and drawings for fantastic gifts. This well-attended event is sure to have something for everyone.
Warm Springs Plaza
46500 Mission Blvd., next to Long’s Drugs
(510) 490-6823

Saturday, December 9 - Fremont
Irvington District Christmas Tree lighting Ceremony
Noon – 7 p.m.
Featuring a skating rink, raffle, refreshments, caroling, pictures with Santa and many other fun activities. As the days grow shorter, these folks know how to light up the afternoon and evening with the holiday spirit.
Irvington Monument
Corner of Bay St. and Fremont Blvd

Thursday, December 14
Trees of Angels Tree Lighting
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Join Newark Mayor David Smith, members of the city council and families from throughout the community for a holiday musical performance by the Newark Symphonic winds and a special visit from Santa.
Silliman Activity and Aquatic Center
6800 Mowry Ave., Newark
(510) 791-3428

Union City:
Trees of Angels Tree Lighting
Sponsored by Washington Hospital Health Care Foundation
Wednesday, November 29
Nakamura Clinic, Corner of Dowe and Alvarado Niles, Union City (Outside courtyard area)
Tree lighting event ( Brief program/refreshments/live entertainment by James Logan High School Jazz, Choir/raffle/gift items available)
(510) 791-3428

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