Festive Tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony Kicks Off The Holiday Season

PHOTO: Alisa Hayashida | South Pasadenan News | Tree Lighting Ceremony 2022

Excitement was in the air at Thursday’s Farmers Market as the gathering crowd anticipated the annual Tree Lighting ceremony and festivities. Sponsored by the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce in coordination with the City of South Pasadena and South Pasadena Arts Council, the ceremony has become a beloved holiday tradition in town. Our little Charlie Brown tree, planted several years ago, has grown into a towering, thriving tree in the museum park next to the Gold Line station. Each year, the South Pasadena Arts Council and volunteers along with city workers, decorate the tree.

PHOTO: Alisa Hayashida | South Pasadenan News | Singers from South Pasadena Arts and Music Academy perform at the tree lighting ceremony

SPARC president Sandy Kitto tells us, “the theme of the tree this year is “Peace on Earth”. It features doves, globes, world flag garlands, and messages of peace, hope and joy.”

The South Pasadena Preservation Foundation had the beautiful museum decorated for Christmas and were giving out hot cider and treats inside. Chilly South Pasadenans were happy for the cozy drinks being offered by SPPF Board Member, Mary Urquhart.

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PHOTO: Alisa Hayashida | South Pasadenan News | SPPF Board Member, Mary Urquhart offers hot cider and treats to chilly South Pasadenans.

The holiday spirit was felt throughout the market and in the local shops as the South Pasadena High School marching band kicked things off with a rousing medley of Christmas and pop songs with their killer drum line kicking it up a notch! Next up on stage was the holiday singers from South Pasadena Arts and Music Academy singing everything from Jingle Bells to We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa! Last to take the stage were dancers from Pointe by Pointe.

PHOTO: Alisa Hayashida | South Pasadenan News | SPHS marching band playing at the tree lighting ceremony.

Rabbi Daniel Chorny spoke about the story and significance of Hanukkah after which the Menorah was lit up to more cheers. There will be an official ceremony to light the first candle of Hanukkah on the first day of the Festival of Lights on December 17.

PHOTO: Alisa Hayashida | South Pasadenan News | Rabbi Chorny addressing the crowd at the tree lighting ceremony.

Chamber Communications Manager, Nichole Clark, led the festivities and after the performances she welcomed Mayor Michael Cacciotti to the stage to introduce the city luminaries in attendance and do the countdown. In attendance from the Chamber were Board Chair Jason Mak, Immediate Past Chair Andrew Berk, Treasurer Kris Morrish, and Ambassador Tracy Macrum. City Councilmembers Evelyn Zneimer, Jack Donovan, and Diana Mahmud took to the stage along with City Manager Arminé Chaparyan, Deputy City Manager Domenica Megerdichian, Assistant to the City Manager Tamara Binns, Community Services Director Sheila Pautsch, Public Works Director Ted Gerber, Community Development Director Angelica Frausto-Lupo, Chief of Police Solinsky & Fire Chief Riddle, Cassandra Carmona representing Assemblymember Mike Fong, and Savannah Moore representing Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

PHOTO: Alisa Hayashida | South Pasadenan News | Mayor Cacciotti greeting the crowd at the tree lighting ceremoney.

The Mayor then invited several children up to the stage to help press the big red button to light the tree. The crowd enthusiastically joined the Mayor in a raucous countdown from ten and as the tree lit up, the crowd cheered!

Don’t forget there is a bright, red box in front of the South Pasadena Museum where you can mail your letters to Santa. Drop them off as you shop small and shop local this holiday season.

Happy Holidays South Pas!