Downtown tree-lighting welcomes crowds again after last year’s virtual-only event

The Seventh Annual Christmas tree-lighting event will once again welcome the public to celebrate the season’s beginning with more than 150,000 twinkling lights, a fireworks display, a visit by Mr. & Mrs. S. Claus, musical performances and plenty of photo opportunities from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Terrace Theater Plaza.

Among the other attractions at the free event, hosted by the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be local food trucks, holiday photo booths, kid train rides and the tallest tree in the city, which will be illuminated when Mayor Robert Garcia flips the switch at around 6:30 p.m.

Last year’s lighting ceremony was basically a one-man show, with Garcia lighting the tree by himself in a virtual event that was live-streamed for people staying safer at home.

This year’s event will also be live-streamed at and people showing up for the party will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result for entry of anyone over 2.


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Tim Grobaty is a columnist and opinions editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his newspaper career at the Press-Telegram in 1976 as a copy boy and moved on to feature writer, music critic, TV critic, copy editor and daily columnist. He’s the author of several books, including I’m Dyin’ Here, and he lives in Long Beach.