Brighten Your Nights with San Francisco's Plentiful and Free Holiday Tree Lightings
The election is over, Black Friday is behind us, and the holiday season is in full swing. Shoppers are out and about, we're all frantically trying to get caught up on work before our vacations, Macy's Holiday Tree is lit and brightening up Union Square and -- wait a minute -- Macy's tree is lit? Yep, it's true. Once again, we have missed the holiday tree lighting in Union Square. But don't despair if you're reading this with a similar panicked reaction; we've found a couple more tree lightings to round out the holidays for all you procrastinators.
We're not sure if there's a tree per se, but there will definitely be lights and hot cocoa (compliments of Ghirardelli), along with holiday sounds from the San Francisco City Chorus. This year's lighting includes a countdown (why should New Year's get all the glory?) and a lighting of the Seaman's Memorial Chapel for the first time. Watch for a special appearance of St. Nick. The action starts on Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. at Fisherman's Wharf, Jefferson (at Taylor), S.F.
A tree lighting with a side of funky! Stick around after the lighting for fun times in the historic Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St. (at Newcomb), with live music from The Reed Fromer Band, a teen dance-off, line dancing, and an open mic for the lyricists to voice conscious thoughts. When you're not moving and grooving, be sure to do a little holiday shopping from one of the local vendors. The tree lights on Friday, Dec. 3 around 5 p.m., and the band plays at 7.
A downtown tree lighting with an international flair. The World Tree of Hope will be decorated with thousands of origami cranes and the Consul General of Japan will present a peace crane to the city. Performances and readings from The San Francisco Boys Chorus, S. F. Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguía, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and more. You can even participate by sending a message of peace to be placed on the tree through the Rainbow Fund. The festivities start Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Drive Carlton B. Goodlett (at Grove), S.F.
More lightings, you ask? Well, okay. Did you know the airport has a lighting celebration? Yep, next Tuesday, SFO becomes SFHO ... HO HO. The decorated tree lives on the bridge between International Parking Garages A and G, and will be lit Dec. 4.
Not to be outdone by the airport, the GGP has been lighting the venerable Monterey cypress tree at McLaren Lodge for 83 years now. That's older than Santa, we're pretty sure. The event on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. features rides for kids, live entertainment, a cookie factory (?!), arts and crafts, and of course a visit from Mr. Claus.
And for those who could care less about a portly man in a red suit, the Bill Graham Menorah Lighting offers something for our Jewish compatriots. 38 years ago, this lighting became the first public Menorah display outside of Israel. Snacks and drinks are provided for the eight-day celebration, as well as activities for children. The time varies each night, so check the schedule for details. It starts on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Union Square.
There are more, but we'll leave it at that. Treeson's greetings, folks.