IN PICTURES: The fifth annual Christmas tree lighting

As the fireworks popped from the top of the Terrace Theater, having been activated when Mayor Robert Garcia and a host of other city officials lit a 50-foot Christmas tree, one friend uncraned his neck long enough to say to another friend: “Long Beach is showing ’em how to do it, huh?”

The other friend didn’t say anything, most likely because he didn’t hear; there was a lot going on.

Music, singing, photos, trains, the whole scene in the area in front of the Terrace was alive with people, activities, performances and controlled explosions. There were brass bands, ballet dancers, opera singers and drag performers to go along with the kiddie trains and Santa photo ops. It was, as Garcia observed when taking the stage, a fairly impressive, though wholly appropriate showing of diversity by Long Beach.

There were families and young couples, folks in top hats, knit caps, reindeer antlers and wearing those tiny, little elf looking hats that are kinda cute and kinda creepy.

“Yeah, I thought it was a doll hat and then my husband told me it’s actually to wear,” said Teresa Casares of Long Beach. “I thought he was making a joke… maybe he was.”

This was the fifth annual Christmas tree lighting, a tradition started by Garcia and the thing has certainly caught on. The space in front of the Terrace was fairly packed, fairly hoping with a mood that was very, very up. How do you do Christmas? Long Beach showed ’em.

Ms. Senior California Pauline Allen, of Anaheim, takes a photo under the lights at the Long Beach 5th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of the Terrace Theater in Long Beach Monday, Dec 9, 2019. The area is decked out with more than 110,000 twinkling lights. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Jennifer Rivera sings Ava Maria at the Long Beach 5th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of the Terrace Theater in Long Beach Monday, Dec 9, 2019. The area is decked out with more than 110,000 twinkling lights. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Long Beach Ballet dancers wait on the side of the stage to perform at the Long Beach 5th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of the Terrace Theater in Long Beach Monday, Dec 9, 2019. The area is decked out with more than 110,000 twinkling lights. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Long Beach Ballet performs for the crowd at the Long Beach 5th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of the Terrace Theater in Long Beach Monday, Dec 9, 2019. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Alina Richardson, 4, holds her father, Rex Richardson’s hand while at Long Beach 5th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of the Terrace Theater in Long Beach Monday, Dec 9, 2019. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Long Beach 5th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of the Terrace Theater in Long Beach Monday, Dec 9, 2019. The area is decked out with more than 110,000 twinkling lights. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The SoCal VoCals sings several Christmas songs for the crowd at the Long Beach 5th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of the Terrace Theater in Long Beach Monday, Dec 9, 2019. The area is decked out with more than 110,000 twinkling lights. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

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