Holiday Season Launched Last Weekend, Island-Style
Christmas Tree Lane
Thompson Avenue really outdid itself last Saturday night for the opening of its holiday decoration celebration known as “Christmas Tree Lane.” Each home on the street contributes something fantastic and the street drew a dense first-night crowd. There were new Star Wars: Rogue 1 illuminated characters abounding, including Yoda and R2D2, along with old favorites Mickey Mouse and The Muppets. Other decorations featured accompanying music, moving, flashing lights of all colors and more.
I asked several homeowners whether it was an annual chore or something they looked forward to and was told by one long-time homeowner, “Any time anyone buys a house and moves here, they know what they’re getting into. It’s really a fun, traditional event of the season that brings us all together. Just seeing the first smile on a little kid as I turn on the lights makes it all worthwhile.”
Special activities on the lane include visits from Santa on nights when he can make it.
Mayor’s Tree Lighting
Alameda’s world-famous Tap-Dancing Christmas Trees made an appearance at the Mayor’s annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony at City Hall last Saturday. The Trees just returned from performances at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Hollywood Holiday Parade on Nov. 27.
Besides Mayor Trish Spencer, Vice Mayor Tony Daysog and most of the City Council were on stage, bundled up in the briskly cold weather, to introduce the Mistletones band.
Of course the main event for the Councilmembers was turning on the lights on the tree amidst an all-ages crowd of about 1,000. Free glo-sticks were passed out to children in attendance, adding to the festive lighted atmosphere.
“We come every year to both the tree lighting and Christmas Tree Lane,” said Dawn Lang of Bay Farm Island. “It’s our big family tradition and it doesn’t feel like the holidays until we do it. Thompson Avenue really stepped it up this year, honoring all the various holidays so no one feels left out. It was also nice to have a moment of silence for the Oakland fire victims, which we’re all still reeling from as a nation.”