The Milpitas Civic Center was filled with children, parents, and laughter as Milpitas Recreation Services held its 31st annual tree lighting ceremony on December 1. The ceremony included the traditional holiday tree and display lighting in front of the reflecting pool at City Hall. The celebration marks the official start of the city’s holiday season.
Hundreds of Milpitians braved the cold weather and were treated to a performance of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by local youth theater group Center Stage Performing Arts, along with a musical performance by the Milpitas Community Concert Band.
There was much to see and do around the Civic Center, including getting free coffee from the local Starbucks on Calaveras and shopping at local vendors selling popcorn and peanuts outside. Inside the Milpitas Community Center, Milpitas Recreation set up a balloon animal station, a gingerbread cookie-making station, arts and crafts, face painting, and an outdoor s’mores-making station.
Inside, at the Milpitas Community Center stage, children waited patiently in line for the opportunity to take a picture with Old Saint Nick. Likewise, their families took the opportunity to take pictures in front of the nutcracker display set up onstage.
Midway through the evening, “Ooohs” and “Ahhs” filled the air as dignitaries lit the community tree and fired up the light display to kick off the countdown to Christmas.
As the event ended, children and adults alike took their chance to pose in front of the Christmas tree and admire the reindeer-themed light displays.
On hand were City employees, Milpitas Fire and Police, Mayor Rich Tran, and California State Assemblymember Kansen Chu, with his grandchildren in tow.
“It’s my first time taking my two grandkids out to this,” said Chu, as he stood with them in the balloon art line. “I’d like to thank Milpitas Recreation for setting this up. It’s a great way to support the community.”
The light display will be up throughout December and is free to the public.