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January 23
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]
HH Jackson


Los Angeles County officials will flip the switch at the county’s annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on Monday, December 2, while California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be among state officials to light up the state’s official holiday tree in Sacramento on Thursday, December 5.

The tradition of politicians lighting a Christmas tree in the United States began more than a hundred years ago. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree-Lighting Ceremony every year on the White House lawn.

LA County Tree Lighting Ceremony
This year, LA County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger and the Board of Supervisors will officially kick off the holiday season with the annual lighting of the county’s official Christmas tree, continuing a special tradition begun by late Supervisor Kenneth Hahn in honor of the county’s children.

Talented performers from the San Dimas High School Choir and Brass Pacifica will entertain and set the mood as the switch gets flipped on Monday at 5 p.m. to light up the colorful decorations on the 50-foot tree.

LA County’s holiday tree stands tall in the Music Center Plaza at 135 N. Grand Avenue, Downtown Los Angeles 90012.

Sacramento Tree Lighting Ceremony
Gov. Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom will host the 88th Annual California State Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the west steps of the State Capitol building in Sacramento on Thursday, December 5, at 5 p.m.

tree lighting

The celebration is open to the public, and this year will highlight California’s cultural diversity, native heritage, and spirit of inclusion.

“The holiday season is a very special time, and this year, we want to celebrate California’s rich history, people, cultures, backgrounds and religious beliefs, which give our state its unique and enviable identity,” Newsom said in a statement. “We are honored to continue this tradition of bringing people together.”

“The holidays are a time for family, for community, and for giving back,” Siebel Newsom said in the statement. “As we celebrate together with our loved ones, we are reminded of the beauty of our diverse communities and grateful for our extended California Family.”

Special guest Nayeli Lemus will join the governor and First Partner to light the Capitol Christmas tree. The 10-year-old from Gilroy was selected by the California Department of Developmental Services and the San Andreas Regional Center, and will represent the more than 340,000 Californians who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Lemus, a 4th grader at Charter School of Morgan Hill, loves singing, dancing, music, and art, and enjoys spending time with her parents Angel and Rosalinda, and two-year-old sister Naia.

Additionally, California Volunteers is partnering with the Sacramento Children’s Home to place a Giving Tree at the Tree Lighting Ceremony. The Giving Tree will be decorated with Wish Stars for attendees to take and fulfill the holiday wishes of local children in need. Wish Stars detail the specific gift requests of children at the Home. Attendees will also be able to make monetary donations directly to the Home at the event.

Performers for this year’s Sacramento celebrations will include the Paradise Strong Chorus from Paradise Ridge Elementary School, Quetzalcoatl Aztec Dancers, the Sacramento Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, the Sacramento Taiko Dan, the Brazilian Center for Cultural Exchange of Sacramento, the Kalinka Russian Folk Dance Group, bbmoves, the KEEN Khmer Ballet of Stockton, the Korean Culture Center Urisawe, the Palestinian Dabke Dancers, Hmong Youth & Parents United, Silver Flower, the Lao Association of Sacramento Group, Dream Dance Studios, Wild Bear Sacramento Pow Wow Drum & Dance and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. This year’s announcer will be Ebony Harper.

This year’s Capitol Christmas Tree is a 66’-3” tall white fir from the LaTour Demonstration State Forest located near Redding in Shasta County, which is managed by CAL FIRE. The tree will be illuminated by approximately 10,000 ultra-low wattage LED lights and is being decorated with more than 300 traditional ornaments and more than 500 hand-crafted ornaments made by children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For more information, visit the California Department of Developmental Services.

The tree lighting event will be streamed live on the California Governor Facebook page.

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